Four years ago, a young nurse called Fredelyne went into a particularly difficult labor at the Heartline Maternity Center. The midwives called her Frede (pronounced “Fred”). Eventually, the Heartline team had to rush her to the hospital for a C-section. She’d delivered babies before, handled difficult births, comforted mothers. But now she was experiencing the realities of pregnancy and motherhood in Haiti firsthand.
Today, Frede leads the Heartline Maternity Center as our Clinic Administrator. Her son is three years old.
But Frede’s journey toward providing compassionate, high-quality healthcare to the women of Haiti started way before the day she met Heartline. It started with her family.
In Haiti, we don’t often hear stories of happy childhoods, living parents, and treasured memories. But those are the stories Frede tells us. Born and raised in Cap-Haiten, Haiti’s second largest city, Frede tells us: “I had a beautiful childhood where I lived with mom, dad, and two brothers.” Her father was a bookseller, a man who instilled a lifelong pursuit of knowledge in his children. Her mother was a nurse at a government hospital – a heroic profession anywhere, doubly so in Haiti. Today, we can see Frede carry their influences with her, in her leadership style and work ethic.
Frede reflects on her father: “He taught us to love church, school, and play. He always said, “You have two months of school vacation in June and July. June is for playing, and July is for studying and preparing for school to open. He loved books and bought us many. He would say, ‘knowledge is waiting in the books.’”
Frede credits her parents for her healthy, happy childhood and her good education, which she attributes in turn to her happiness as an adult.
It’s a reminder of the power of family. In dark times, Frede carries the light of her family with her.