Surgery needed to save Negrita’s hearing

June 16, 2008 at 12:38 pm 1 comment

Emely (nicknamed Negrita) was 18 months old when Pat and Jon Erickson, faculty members at the University of Vermont, met her. They were leading a UVM course to the Dominican Republic, Emely was busy being almost two. Emely lives in Batey Libertad, a small town located in the lush Cibao valley, populated with Haitian workers, Dominican workers, busy Mom’s, farmers, cows, dogs, cats and the occasional student from the United States. The community lacks basic necessities such as consistent health care and stable employment. Emely, now six, has experienced more than her fair share of problems, suffering with severe ear infections for all of her six short years. Through the generosity of people both in the community and in the United States, and with electronic consultations from physicians, (including Dr. Paul Farmer, Dr. Jim Fisk, Dr. Tommy Clark and Dr. Ara Fernandez) Emely is really one of the fortunate. She has had basic health care. However, she needs specialized care to preserve her hearing. Luckily for Emiey, Dr. William Brundage heard about her case and has offered to help. Dr. Brundage is Assistant Professor of Surgery and Chair of the Division of Otolaryngology, at the University of Vermont. We hope to bring Emely to Vermont later this fall so she can have the surgery she needs at Fletcher Allen Medical Center. Emely will live and recover with the Erickson’s while she is in the United States. Of course, there are many, many children all over the world like Emely. Many people ask us, why this child? We believe it is important to help everyone you can, wherever you can, when you can. Emely, Pat, Jon, and all the many, many wonderful people involved with Batey Libertad simply found each other.

To inquire about Emely, or to offer your help, please e-mail Dr. Pat Erickson at


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