Bookmark and Share

Haiti's disabled: can it be cruel to be kind?

Mike Landry helps carry a former patient to her home. But is it her new "prison"? Photo/Fiona Stephenson

When the earthquake ravaged Haiti, the world tried to help.  But it remains a country of damaged homes, and damaged people. 

That's been troubling Mike Landry.

He answered Haiti's call, treating victims with spinal cord injuries. 

He's a Canadian physiotherapist, a professor at the University of Toronto.  And a frontline kind of guy with 15 years' experience in global rescue missions.

It's been his life's work. You'd think he'd be happy.  Instead, he's wracked with guilt and doubts.

Landry returned to Haiti, to see how the people he treated are doing. And to deal with the nagging questions his inner voice is asking.

He lets Dispatches evesdrop on that voice, as he searches for answers amid Haiti's fragments and the faces of those he cares for.

 Listen to Mike's dispatch

The June 24 Dispatches program and podcast 

Mike Landry is a physical therapist, a professor at the University of Toronto, and a scientist at the Toronto Rehab Institute. His experience with emergency missions include Bosnia, Kosovo, Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Haiti.

After we first aired his story, he found himself in the midst of a growing debate. Many told him the same problems confront Canadians who can't get the rehabilitation care they need. So he's now working on a documentary film grappling with the issues raised by forgotten survivors with broken bodies. 

What do you think? Is Mike being too hard on himself or right to question the way we respond to a global crisis? We'd like your thoughts. Email dispatches@cbc.ca.

  • Commenting has been disabled for this entry.