“I see resilience more than anything when I see these people” Indiana native helps recovery effort in Haiti

Stacy Fiscus (Personal Photo)
Stacy Fiscus (Personal Photo)

WABASH VALLEY (WTHI) – Haiti is the home away from home for one Indiana woman.

So when disaster struck in the form of Hurricane Matthew, she did everything she could to get back to, and help, the island she loves.

Stacy Fiscus is the Chief Flight Paramedic for Haiti Air Ambulance.

She explains, “I was actually in Indiana. I was in Bloomfield. I was on vacation, I had two weeks of vacation, so when this all happened, I got down to Miami as soon as I could.”

That would be the first leg of Fiscus’ trip to get back to Haiti.

The Indiana native now lives and works there.

But an unexpected blessing would get her there sooner.

Fiscus says, “At the last minute, through a very generous donation, a private jet was supplied to us in Miami.”

Four doctors, a nurse, two paramedics, and Fiscus were streamlined into the island.

The scene when they arrived was a lot for Fiscus to take in.

Fiscus says, “You know you see footage of different things like Hurricane Katrina, and the earthquake back down here in 2010, and it all just seems, kind of ‘through TV.’ So not necessarily fake, but it’s much different when you’re there firsthand seeing all the damage and destruction. It’s just kind of surreal.”

Fiscus says Haiti Air Ambulance usually only flies one helicopter at a time.

But to help relief efforts, they have two helicopters running from sun up to sun down.

Fiscus says, “On top of taking supplies there and bringing patients back, we have also been the first in to several of the small towns inaccessible by road and doing medical assessments of their hospitals and clinics, and their needs.”

But through downed trees and demolished homes, Fiscus has seen the evident strength of the Haitian people.

She says, “Whole villages will come together and work with each other. Whether it be bring a patient to us, getting them across the river and stuff like that to us, or sharing the food that we bring with each other. You know, I see resilience more than anything when I see these people.”

It’s clear that a fighting spirit is inside Fiscus too.

The paramedic says, “This is my home now, in Port-au-Prince, and to see all of these people that I’ve grown to love so much having such a hard time yet again, it was just very hard to be away. I was glad to be here and be helping and doing what I can do to help this relief effort.”

Fiscus says several people have asked how they can help those affected in Haiti.

Information for the Haiti Air Ambulance, where Fiscus works, can be found here.

Fiscus also recommends Mission of Hope Haiti, as well as Innovating Health International.