Peterson’s Story of Hope
Peterson was one of the original 13 kids Debbie and Bill found in an abandoned house in 2008. These 13 children were starving and covered in parasites. When Debbie asked an American doctor to do a check-up for these children, the doctor said the children were on the brink of death and it was the worst case he had ever seen while working in Haiti. Peterson was only 10. Peterson’s mom had died, and his father was an abusive alcoholic. After HHA was able to provide Peterson and the other children with immediate care, we began to see from an early age that Peterson was a natural leader, especially in church. For many years Peterson would lead the HHA church in prayer and worship.
Years later, Peterson found out that he had a younger brother who was living with his abusive father. Peterson advocated for his younger brother to come live at the Helping Haitian Angels (HHA) family homes. Since the day his brother arrived, Peterson has helped take care of and mentor his little brother. The two of them have such a close bond! At age 18, Peterson entered HHA’s program to help transition youth into adulthood. In this program, Peterson learned necessary life skills such as budgeting, shopping in the market, and cooking, as well as vocational skills such as sewing, carpentry, driving, and more. He also assisted the American dentists in the HHA dental clinic and interned for the summer at the local hospital.
Peterson didn’t start school until he was 10 when HHA took him in and paid for his tuition. Despite the late start, Peterson was consistently at the top of his class and is now graduating high school at age 23. He has always said from day one that his dream is to become a doctor. His mother, before she died, would tell Peterson that she prayed every day he would become a doctor so that he would have a better life and be able to help others. Peterson approached the board of directors with a fully thought-out plan and budget for medical school. When the board told Peterson that they would find a way for him to go to medical school, he cried. Peterson has now been accepted into medical school in Cuba and will begin this new journey in a couple of months.