Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Samantha Hayes ReportingA Utah woman is watching the events in Haiti very closely, for personal reasons. She was forced out of the country a week ago and away from her work in a rehabilitation center.
Susan Gleason is the director of "Healing Hands for Haiti." She operates a medical clinic where people are treated for diseases and infections hardly seen anymore in America.
Even in better times Haiti has more than its share of challenges. In a tiny village within Port-au-Prince, sewage and street filth flood the streets. And the villagers have extraordinary medical needs.
In order to really make a difference, Susan Gleason and her partners decided to focus on one medical service-rehabilitation.
Susan Gleason, Summer 2000: “I swear when the bus arrived and I looked over the balcony and saw all the people, I was in tears."
Gleason is looking forward to expanding service in a new facility, but her vision has been interrupted.
Susan Gleason: “Many nights the helicopter would fly over where we were and just hover and I'd hear gunshots and so on. And I didn't really think about it that much at all. I thought about getting up the next day in terms of getting the clinic built and in terms of seeing the maximum number of patients and how many prosthetic limbs we could finish that week."
When it became too dangerous to stay Gleason obeyed the American embassy and left, but not until the last minute.
Susan Gleason: “If you are going to help people you have to do it in the best of times and the worst. You can't be a fair weather person that helps people."
She thinks about those people everyday.
Susan Gleason: “There is a gratitude they express for everything you do for them that is just so wonderful. It’s just love of the people."
A large part of Gleason's mission in Haiti is education. She has developed two school programs where students are trained in physical therapy, occupational therapy and nursing.