As Hurricane Matthew approaches Haiti, local groups prepare to offer help

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — With news that a hurricane could devastate Haiti, there are medical professionals across the country, including Nashville, who are preparing to help if needed.

Haitians living in Nashville are also preparing for news that their loved ones may not survive the hurricane.

Majorie Hallworth lives in Brentwood, but she was born and raised in Haiti.

She has aunts, uncles and cousins who still live where the hurricane is projected to hit.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen. I might lose again, family members so I’m very concerned,” she told News 2.

In January 2010, Haiti was devastated by an earthquake.

Hallworth’s aunt was killed inside a church that collapsed.

After the earthquake, the Children’s Nutrition Program of Haiti, which is based in Tennessee, sprang into action.

“Employees across the mountains of Haiti were finding folks who were maybe trapped in their homes or didn’t have food and were providing them food, were in some cases taking folks to the hospital making sure they had care,” said Dr. Manny Sethi, who works at Vanderbilt and on CNP’s board.

He told News 2 they’re ready to help again, with employees in Haiti that are prepared for a potential disaster and a group of doctors across the United States who are ready to jump on a plane — including him.

“We have basic surgical instruments ready; we have medications that we’ve stockpiled in Haiti ready to go. So, I believe we’re prepared,” he said.

But Hallworth hopes that help won’t be needed.

“Because I don’t want to tomorrow get, my cousin I was texting with, not hearing from her and knowing it’s because of the hurricane. How much more can you take?

There are an estimated 2500 Haitians who live in the Nashville area with thousands of loved ones who still live there, waiting to see what happens overnight.


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