Friday, October 24, 2008

A New Life for Martine: A True Story

Infant Martine had lived with congestive heart failure since birth with no chance of medical treatment in Haiti.

Posted on: Oct 15, 2008 at 12:55 PM PDT
Channel: Local News
Location: Snoqualmie, WA
Snoqualmie WA (October 15, 2008)
Five years ago, when Bekki and Eddie Ortiz adopted Djenica (zhe-NEE-ka), a beautiful little girl from Haiti, little did they realize what would follow. As Djenica flourished in America, they both felt drawn to do something to help other children from their adopted daughter’s homeland, but what?

The answer came when Bekki learned about two organizations. One was Real Hope for Haiti, a private medical ministry in Cazale, Haiti. The other was a Bellingham, Washington based Medical Advocacy Team that brings lifesaving treatment to third world children. Inspired by this new information, she and Eddie began their life changing, life saving journey.

Within months, Bekki flew to Haiti stopping just long enough to pick up infant Martine before returning home. Martine was chosen because she had a ventricular septal defect in her heart. Essentially, she had been living in a state of congestive heart failure since birth with no chance for medical treatment in Haiti.

Following open heart surgery in Portland OR, Martine found herself in the loving home of the Ortiz family and under the care of medical professionals from Snoqualmie Valley Hospital who generously donating their time and expertise. Martine soon began to thrive under the post-surgery pediatric care of Dr. Ron Spiegel and physical therapy from Sarah Poeschl, DPT.

“Initially Martine barely had the strength to hold her head up and would only occasionally smile,” according to Poeschl. “Now she not only sits by herself, she even has special words for her foster mother and father and has turned into quite the social butterfly.” Poeschl continued, “I am impressed with this little girl and everything she has already been through in her short life. I am sure with her determination she will reach her highest potential.” To this, foster father Eddie adds, "Martine is the best-natured baby we've ever had - including our own four kids."

But this is a story with an even happier ending, because Bekki and Eddie have learned that an American family has adopted Martine. “We have totally cherish our time with Martine” reflected Bekki. “It will be a heartbreak for me, but we brought her here, got her surgery and got her healthy. What I most care about is that she is strong enough to thrive.”

What’s next for Bekki and Eddie? Another baby is scheduled to arrive at the Ortiz house, another surgery is being planned, and another second chance. The story continues.

Real Help for Haiti,
To learn more about the care provided Martine by the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital District, or to arrange for interviews, please contact Scott Scowcroft at