East Texas doctor giving back to homeland, Haiti - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas doctor giving back to homeland, Haiti

By LaKecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

MT. VERNON, TX (KLTV) - From the earthquake to the aftershock, the Haiti devastation has struck a nerve with one East Texas doctor. He is a physician at ETMC and he is a native Haitian.

"Personally, as a Haitian, I've been through some bad tragedies from Haiti before but I think this was definitely the worst," said Dr. Jean Latortue.

The news of Haiti's earthquake devastation still gives Dr. Latortue and his family chills.

"We have so many family members [and] friends in Haiti that could be in those buildings, so we panicked," said Dr. Latortue. "We're still hoping for that phone call every single day from a family member, from a colleague, but it's really hard to live day in and day out."

Unfortunately, for the Latortue family, some family members were lost and crushed in the rubble. One of them was a god mother.

"It seems like, you know, at the end of the day, even her body, we couldn't find, so we're pretty sure she did not make it," said Dr. Latortue.

An ETMC family practice physician, Dr. Latortue graduated from medical school in Port-au-Prince.

"I'm really excited about going back," he said. "I really am [excited] because I know that when you see it on TV, it's really different when we you go and look at it yourself."

Dr. Latortue along with his patients, other ETMC physicians, and East Texans are gathering food, diapers, and medical supplies to help Haitians.

"I know so many faces will smile when they receive those," he said. "Many people lost their legs, so I'm sure those crutches are going to be really handy."

It is just another example of East Texans helping out their fellow man.

The doctor and his wife plan on flying with a team to Haiti at the end of this month to hand deliver all the supplies he has gathered. They also plan to visit 10 Haitian orphans that they support.

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