March 2010

Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics, the Gettysburg, PA company that has been collecting prosthetic limbs for Haitian earthquake amputees, donated more than 75 good condition prosthetic limbs to Haitian Ambassador to the U.S. Raymond Joseph last evening.

The donation took place at the National Press Club Ballroom as part of the NPC’s program, “Haiti: Past, Present and Future.” Ability V.P and part-owner Jeffrey Quelet, himself an amputee, was on-hand to make the donation.

Ability has been collecting the limbs since shortly after the devastating earthquake hit Haiti. The collections have taken place at Ability’s five locations: Gettysburg, Exton and York, PA.; and Frederick and Hagerstown, MD. Donations have been received from California, Massachusetts and New York, as well. Because of U.S. law, these limbs cannot be reused within the United States. Purchased new, the limbs would range in price from $8,000 – $25,000 each.

The featured participants last evening were Haitian ambassador to the United States, Raymond Joseph, and his wife, Lola Poisson-Joseph, who have been involved in helping coordinate major relief efforts and liaising with the Haitian community in the U.S. The Ambassador and his wife are pictured above with Jeff Quelet of Ability, and his daughter.

Joseph has been ambassador since October 2005, when he became his country’s first full-fledged envoy to the United States since 1998. A journalist by profession, he spent nineteen years in New York under a death sentence imposed in absentia by the authoritarian regime of the late Francois Papa Doc Duvalier, who was enraged by Joseph’s radio broadcasts and writings about the dictatorship.

Lola Poisson-Joseph, an artist, is founder and chair of the Children and Families Global Development Fund. She spoke about women’s and children’s issues in the aftermath of the earthquake.

The event was organized by the International Correspondents Committee.

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