Haiti, 1-Year later - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Fanna Haile-Selassie

Haiti, 1-Year later

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Rochester, MN (KTTC-DT) --

During this past year, hundreds more have died in Haiti when cholera became a problem. It's a sign that hygiene and lifestyle conditions have not improved. But there are still those who hold Haiti in a special place in their hearts. One Rochester man is heading back this weekend.

One year ago, we told you about Rick Miller and Healing Hands For Haiti. They were set to go to Haiti this very same weekend when the earthquake struck, postponing their trip. They're going back again, to do what they can in a country that still has a great need.

Some people see the devastation in Haiti and say "There's nothing I can do." Rick Miller sees the need in a different way. One in which he can use his skills to help.

"It's a very specialized wheelchair that allows tilted space. And so, you can see that especially for a spinal chord injury patient."

Miller's mission, along with his team at Healing Hands For Haiti, is to help crippled Haitians move once again. The need for prosthesis and wheelchairs before the earthquake was already great, the crushing rubble compounded the problem.

"After a year's time, the healing process is pretty much done with and those people that still need assistance to walk, require orthopedic devices or braces. And that being my specialty, I'll be very busy down there this year," say Miller.

This will be Miller's second trip to Haiti after the earthquake, and he says he expects to see much of the same: rubble, crowded streets, and tent cities. But Miller says Americans have to see past the ubiquitous turmoil and focus on how they can personally make an impact.

"Not that you become callous to it, you become more familiar with the site. And realize that even though I can't help the 20 people that we pass that are in need of services, between going to the airport to our guest house, the ones that do show up at our clinic will be helped."

The donated cash Miller received to buy all these needed tools, is an example how one act can make a difference.

"There's a particular child in an orphanage that's waiting for this, and we'll deliver it next week."

Miller will lead his 4-person medical team from Minnesota, down to Haiti this Saturday. And if you'd like to know more about Healing Hands For Haiti, we have a link to their website here.

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