When Dr. Carrie Hui met Nelson in 2014 during a dental mission trip to Haiti, he was 11 years old and had two badly decayed teeth that needed to be extracted.
“We had a very difficult time with him as he was uncooperative and cried the entire time we were working on extracting a molar,” Dr. Hui recalled in her report to HPIC. “Once we successfully extracted the first molar, we were ready to dismiss him as we didn’t want to proceed with the second molar. However, he tapped me on the arm and pointed to the other side. He likely realized that if he didn’t have the infected tooth extracted, he would have to live with the pain and discomfort until another dental mission visited the area.”
Impact on Nelson
When she returned in 2015, Nelson remembered them but did not interact much with Dr. Hui and her team. On the last trip in 2016, he was able to speak French and so could speak to them and accompanied the team for much of their mission this past year.
Nelson shared that he was brushing his teeth twice a day and taking good care of them and he revealed his dream to become a dentist one day. Nelson helped them by reassuring patients.
One of the most touching moments of Dr. Hui’s career came when Nelson helped to cover the eyes of a patient receiving anesthetic. “It was touching to see that he appreciated and remembered what we did for him two years ago, and here he was reassuring other patients!” she wrote in her report to HPIC.
Nelson helps Dr. Hui with a patient undergoing a procedure with anesthetic
Dr. Hui brought 2 Humanitarian Medical Kits for dental care provided by Health Partners International of Canada to Haiti in 2016 to provide dental care to a community that has a chronic lack of access. She and her team treated 200 patients.
Most of these patients experienced tremendous relief when she extracted teeth that had become infected. Others had preventive work done. An additional 500 children under the age of 14 years old received preventive treatment, including scaling to remove calculus build up, prophylaxis, application of topical fluoride varnish and oral hygiene instruction.
Dr. Hui would like to relay her thanks to HPIC’s donors, especially Patterson Dental, a donor that makes the dental care kits possible:
“Thank you for your continued support and generosity. It is only with your contributions that we are able to carry out dental and medical missions. Your donations allow us to provide much needed care to patients around the world who are not as fortunate as we are and have little access to these services. The patients are grateful and appreciative for what we are able to bring to them. You can only imagine living with a toothache and not having anyone and anywhere to go for it. Thank you very much.”
Dr. Hui leaves for Haiti again this week with a team and a Humanitarian Medical Kit for dental care.