In February 1982, I joined Bishop Daniel Reilly on an exploratory trip to Port au Prince, Haiti. My son, Mark, a premed student at Boston College, accompanied me. I carried in dental instruments and supplies, in the hopes the opportunity would come to allow me to provide some relief to those suffering from diseased and infected teeth. It did – on day 2 – at a Hospice in a very poor area operated by Mother Teresa’s Sisters.
I had experienced a life threatening cancer surgery in October 1981- my second experience with that vile disease.
I am the oldest of 11 children, raised in a working class family in an Irish ghetto in Massachusetts. I had been blessed with a wonderful and loving wife, Virginia and four bright and healthy children.
I had a deep feeling of non-accomplishment. I had been given a wonderful profession and super family, yet was inadequate in “giving back”, in sharing with the sick, broken, and needy.
After the first trip to Haiti, I returned every three months to continue to provide dental services. These experiences began to fill the “empty hole”.
I found such fulfillment, as did my wife, Virginia, in giving experiences in Haiti. Several friends who had joined my personal journeys to Haiti experienced similar fulfillment, and many people returned on the quarterly trips to Port au Prince as volunteers.
As the Haiti “Club” grew larger, Virginia and our children ventured to Haiti. I became friendly with Mother Teresa who encouraged me to bring our small group to Jeremie – a very poor area (pink area highlighted in the map below) with a dearth of health care.
This move brought more challenges, but increased joy in my life.
This “fifth child” has grown into an outpatient health care facility called Klinik Pep Bondye-a, an outstanding public health outreach to mountain villages, house and latrine construction for the poorest villagers, animal distribution, feeding facilities, education support, and other programs.
Our umbrella of care brings health services, hope, and the opportunity of a future to over 250,000 of the poorest and most vulnerable people in over 100 rural mountain villages.
Join Dr. Lowney on the remarkable journey of faith and commitment that took him from his childhood in an Irish-American ghetto to the brutally impoverished rural mountains of Jeremie in Haiti. Experience the love, renewal, and determination to fight injustice that led him to create the Haitian Health Foundation, a non-denominational organization that has and continues to serve well over 250,000 Haitians from the ravaged slums of Port au Prince to the heart-breakingly beautiful Grand Anse mountains. Meet the desperately poor children whose lives he has saved, and who, in turn, have saved him. Travel with him from the studios of Fox News to the presidential palace of Haiti as he pleads for the lives of Haiti’s forgotten families and children. To purchase the book for $25.00, please click here. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to support HHF’s programs.