Jun 21, 2016 6:24 PM

Grace 4 Haiti: New Hampshire trio on a mission to provide medical care to the impoverished

MANCHESTER — It is hard to believe light can be a luxury, but Dr. Cynthia Cooper of New Hampshire knows better.

For two years now, she has traveled on her own time and dime to Haiti providing medical care to women living in extreme poverty.

"I was doing an emergency cesarean section one night, and power there is sketchy and the baby came out and then all the power went out," Cooper said. "So at that point, I used my headlamp that I had used to cross the street to give me light and closed."

Inspired by her volunteer work, two of Dr. Cooper's co-workers at Manchester's Well Sense Health Plan joined her on this year's trip. For a week the trio made some head-turning discoveries as they volunteered in a clinic in Pierre Payen.

"I was surprised with the number of children who came in with broken bones to be seen that were not broken recently," said Angela Makin, a co-worker. "You asked the parent when did they fall. It was maybe last month. Maybe last week."

"I just think there are at least some more resources here," co-worker Lynne MacRae said of her experience in Haiti. "There is nothing there."

The women said in Haiti they learned simple things carry so much weight.

"There was one little boy that I remember sitting down who had a string holding up his arm that had been broken so long ago his mother didn't remember, and I gave him a coloring book and crayon, and he smiled," Makin said. "I went back and knelt down and took a crayon out and colored and his eyes lit up. He didn't know what crayons were."

All three women plan to do future volunteer work in Haiti.

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