Life amidst the Devastation

Medical volunteers for LDS Charities witness a glimmer of hope amidst the suffering.

Photographed by: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

With death tolls from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti around several hundred thousand, recovery efforts were essential. But in a world where it would be easy to be overwhelmed with the weight of what has to be done and the help needed, slivers of hope kept eyes turned to a greater cause.

At the Centrale LDS Meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Church's emergency response team of volunteer doctors and nurses arrived to start assessing medical needs and treating the injured and ailing.

Among those seen by the LDS Humanitarian Service volunteers in one of the meetinghouse's classrooms were Fabiola Beauvil and her four–day–old baby, Klaira Eliska, both survivors of the 7.0–magnitude quake that left much of Haiti's capital city and surrounding areas in shambles. As she spoke with an interpreter, she explained what happened to her and her then–unborn child during the earthquake.

Fabiola was inside her home as the tremors began the evening of January 12, 2010. She rushed outside without grabbing anything. She was unscathed when she reached the street, although in the process her roof had collapsed, leaving multiple friends and family members trapped inside.

While enduring the rest of the tremors and aftershocks, she began to feel labor pains. With emotions churning and with a very unexpected future, Klaira was born into a much different world than was ever planned.

Beauvil found herself at the Centrale LDS Meetinghouse when the LDS medical team arrived, and she was one of the first to be assisted. She was placed in a classroom a short while later and rested her daughter on a mattress. She was seen by multiple doctors and nurses to confirm that everything for the mother and daughter was on track and as it should be. The healthy mother and daughter then embarked on a new road together.

Beauvil was one of over 9,000 people who sought shelter in one of many churches in Port-au-Prince. Makeshift clinics made a difference every day, one life at a time.