Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Going back to Chicago

I'm on my way back to Chicago, to get back to work. Then my wife
Yakini, will replace me here at the Brigham And Women's Hospital, in
Boston. Today mom had a hip aspiration, it is the process of drawing
some liquid from her hip, then analyze it in order to determine if
she's clear of infections left. After that, the doctors will let us
know when the hip replacement operation will take place, if all is
Further more, dad has an appointment on 3-31-10 for the first time we
got here. I am happy for him. Although I won't be there, an
interpreter will be accompanying him to the doctor's office.
I'll keep you all posted as I know more.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

My parents made to Boston

Hi all,

They're here!!! My parents are at the Brigham Women And Health Hospital in Boston, very soon they'll have the surgeries and will be free of pain all together. I am happy beyond words, thanks to Partners In Health.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My heart is torn

Hi all,

My son Akin participates in a once a year basketball game that takes place at his school. The most recent game took place yesterday, Wednesday the 17h, which is how I ended up back in the United States, back in Illinois, and back in Chicago with my family. I caught a flight to Chicago to make the game.

In the midst of all that was going on at home, I was supposed to leave for Boston, from Haiti, with my mother and father. Unfortunately, their papers hadn’t gone through yet with the state department so in order to make the game, I had to leave without them. But I have recently found out that their papers have gone through and are with the U.S. Embassy in Haiti. Now, though, I am in a bind. I am having a hard time deciding whether to go back to Haiti to travel with my parents to Boston or to spend more time here with my family and meet them in Boston. I am torn.

As a father and a husband, I have to be sure that I am around to support and be there for my family, but I am also a son. And as a son I have to be sure to be around and support my parents also, especially in their utmost time of need. I play many roles, and in each of them I have to take responsibility.

I was so happy to see my family, beyond words, but it was also very heartbreaking to leave my parents, especially with their being so many unresolved issues. Yes, their papers have cleared but they still have to endure the travel. They don’t speak English and I know that being on a flight to the Americas and going through immigration alone would be very hard and exhausting for them, since they have never traveled to the United States before. But I also know that my wife and children have endured a lot of heartache in my absence. Abruptly, they were without a husband, without a father, they were without me and they were hurting. So as I have said before, I am torn. My heart is torn.

We have been so grateful to be helped by an organization called Partners in Health. They have been assisting us since February 26th. With them, we have made tremendous strides. With their sponsorship my parents were approved for a Humanitarian Visa. Another thing that they are also doing that may aid in my decision to stay in Chicago or to go to Haiti is finding a Creole translator to travel with my parents on their journey. It would be not just a language barrier but a culture shock for them to travel alone and Partners in Health understands that. Still, though, it would be a difficult decision for me to make.

But at the moment, I am here. I am here with my family and I am happy to be home. However, I know that there are things that still need to be settled, and when they settle, I will also.


An Inward Journey

Coffy wrote this music while in Haiti, called: "An Inward Journey"

Back in Chicago!

Akin and Coffy at Midway Airport

I finally made it home after two months.

made it to the game

I did not let my son down, I made it to his basketball game. He not only scored a basket, but his team WON

(photos at game courtesy of Ms. Pat Foley of the Hyde Park Day School)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

He's back!

Coffy is back in Chicago! Yakini and Akin are very excited
to have him back, even though it's not clear what's going
to happen next. PIH are pushing the paperwork through to have
the parents flown over to Boston, and this may happen as soon
as next week -- keeping all fingers crossed. Coffy will surely
update us soon about that and about his trip back.

But for now,
Welcome Home Coffy!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Meeting Paul Farmer

"Paul Farmer has just been such an aid to us. We met at a Northwestern University lecture on last Friday, March 5th. I am honored to have met him." -Yakini

Friday, March 5, 2010

Reflections from Haiti / Paul Farmer

-- Today --

Dr. Paul Farmer (see previous post) will be in Chicago tonight (Friday), and will give a presentation at Northwestern University. His talk will be broadcasted live on the internet:

A live webcast at 8:30 pm EST (7:30 CST) on Friday, March 5 for Reflections from Haiti, a keynote address by PIH co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer. The talk will be part of the 2010 GlobeMed Global Health Summit.

Link to the webcast and more details:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Post-earthquake trauma

Date: Thursday, March 4

Hi Kini,

There was a chaotic moment at the school in Partners in Health today located in Cange. For The record, there was no earth quake. It was an empty dump truck passing by near the school that sent a trembling sensation to the building and the children though it was an earth quake, and oh my god! The whole school was running out of control and scared, kids were jumping off the balcony, fell on each other and hurt themselves. That goes to show how traumatized everyone is about that earth quake period in Haiti.


March 4, Coffy updates from Haiti

Date: Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hi all,

I am now in Haiti. I've been here since 2/26/10 and today is Thursrday, 3/04/10.
The Hospital is called Zanmi Lasante (Partners In Health), an international organization founded by Dr. Paul E. Farmer. This organization is doing great work here in Haiti, and have been doing so for a long time, I just didn't know about them as many other Haitians don't. It is in the country side in a little town called Cange.
I made a little video as an update.

Jean Paul Coffy.

Hi everybody, I've now been here since February 26th, today is March 4th. And I am at the hospital called Zanmi Lasante which is translated as Partners in Health. It's an international organization which has been helping Haitians here since before the quake and now have been swamped with earthquake victims.
Mom and dad are here and now I've met with the founder of the organization Mr. Paul Farmer. After all diagnosis and consultation they realized that they cannot do the operation here because they don't have the equipment in Haiti in any other hospital - they called several other places, nobody has that kind of equipment to do a hip replacement. And so he said the best thing is to get my parents to Boston where he's affiliated with a hospital called Brigham [and] Women's Health Hospital, and there they've already accepted my parents as inpatients. Now the partners in health organization are working with immigration to see if they can speed up the process to get mom there. After they reviewed the x-rays and all the doctors are worried that the leg might have some infection that can be potentially dangerous and so they're working as quickly as possible with immigration to see if immigration and the US government will allow passage for my parents to get to the US and to get the treatment that they actually need. So we're crossing our fingers and in the meanwhile giving them medicine and infection medicine for the leg, and diabetic medicine and blood pressure medicine to just you know keep them alive until the process is actually been through. OK, I'll keep you all updated. Bye.

[pictures that Coffy sent from his first meeting with Dr. Farmer]

Partners in Health
Partners in Health - "Stand With Haiti"
Birgham and Women's Hospital in Boston
Zanmi Lasante

Monday, March 1, 2010

2/26 from Santo Domingo, DR -- to Cange, Haiti

another long trip, that started on an airplane, continued on yet another bumpy road and ended in a hospital after a lot of pain killers.

1. Made it to the airplane

"made it to the airport. WOO HOO!!
we are now at the airport we're leaving to go to Haiti.
To that clinic, which is waiting for us
the doctors are waiting
they have everything in place to take care of mom and dad
i'm just SO happy."

2. On the plane to Haiti

3. A stop in Port Au Prince airport for passport control

"this is the airplane we just landed in Port Au Prince airport and now we're gonna clear immigration and take off
we're gonna fly again to get to Henche small airport
This is Port Au Prince international airport now."

4. Flying to Hinche

Landing in Hinche, after landing on the airstrip.

5. Bumpy road to Cagne

we are in the car a gentleman named Jude is driving us to the hospital. he told me it's about 45 to an hour drive, because the road is not very good, not good at all, and you know he's taking it very slow because of mom's pain and stuff. so here's Jude, i want to present Jude, who's driving us and we're not on our way to the hospital.

more dirt roads! but we're going to get to a hospital this time. "

"She's suffering but we gave her pain medicine and hope that's gonna help a little "

6. At the hospital Zanmi Lasante

"This is the place. we finally made it. we are here. and Cogi who is responsible for receiving us it looking for a room now for us. i'll take better pictures tomorrow because now we got here and there's no sun."

we made it to the hospital, we're inside the room. my parents made it. here's Cogi, he's the one who brought us in here in the room with everybody else"

[link to the BLOG]