A Brief History Lesson on Hôpital L’Eglise de Dieu Réformée
(Post 3 of 3)
Dr. Ralph’s Resilience
This is the 3rd blog in a 3-part series. Go back to read the second blog in the series here: The Dream of Dr. Woodley St. Fleur
This series focuses on the three founding doctors of Clinique L’Eglise de Dieu Réformée, the clinic that would eventually become the hospital our team serves at today. Their stories are a microcosm of the life and plight of the political, economic, and social climate of Haiti. In this final piece of three blogs, I highlight Dr. Ralph Rejouis.
Recent medical school graduate Dr. Ralph Rejouis had a conversation about his future with one of his medical school professors and friend, Dr. Ernst Pady, shortly after finishing his residency. Dr Pady shared with him about an opportunity to help at a small, fledgling clinic in the Arcahaie area. With curiosity and hope, Dr. Ralph accompanied Dr. Pady to the small village of Saintard, along with another doctor, Dr. Woodley St Fleur. Dr. Ralph was introduced to the directors of the clinic and agreed to help on a weekly basis. And so it began, with Dr. Pady (a pediatrician) seeing the children who came to the clinic, Dr. St Fleur (a surgeon) seeing the general surgical patients, and Dr. Ralph (a family practice physician) seeing the rest, a clinic was born.
The intrepid three doctors continued to serve at the clinic in Saintard, week after week, and year after year. As the number of patients increased, extra staff was slowly added around them. Dr. Ralph’s trips from his home in Port au Prince to the rural clinic became more frequent as he added more days each week to see patients. His calm demeanor and caring manner made him a very popular doctor in Saintard, as every week more patients asked to see Dr. Ralph.
With his wife and two children becoming more involved with life in Port au Prince, Dr. Ralph continued to juggle his journeys to the country with life in the city. His dedication to the cause and the ministry in Saintard continued to be unparalleled. As the clinic transitioned to a hospital in 2018, Dr. Ralph became an integral part of not only the outpatient clinic, but also the emergency department. He assisted the new residents to acclimate to the hospital surroundings, helped to locate and purchase new supplies, and agreed to be on call whenever a question arose.
With help from friends and family, Dr. Ralph and his wife were able to visit the United States and treat their kids to Disney World, and see a Dallas Cowboys game. Despite his exposure to the “extras” that the US offered and even with the potential to move to the US, Dr. Ralph and his family chose to stay in their homeland and continue to serve and support their country of origin.
Over the past year, Dr. Ralph has rarely been unable to venture to the hospital as gangs have blocked the roads. He made a trip to the hospital in Saintard to help for a few days in the spring of this year, in the face of dangers that lie along the way. On his way back to his home, he was briefly kidnapped and robbed of all of his belongings.
All who reside in his home in Port au Prince remain in Haiti during this time of extreme unrest and upheaval, even though there are days when they find themselves sitting on the floor of their home as bullets fly by outside. Dr. Ralph continues to be a valuable member of the hospital team, whether in person or by phone, as his steadfast dedication to the hospital and his God continues to shine as an example for all of us.
Learn more about Dr. Ralph’s story and the challenges he and other hospital staff encounter during our upcoming event: The State of the Hospital Address on July 16th.
View our Facebook page for more information about the event: Mission Haiti Medical Facebook