CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A team of people from Charlotte is responsible for saving the life of an 11-month-old Haitian boy.
In his hospital room at Novant Health in Elizabeth, Lorenz is more intrigued with the NBC Charlotte camera than one of the Charlotte doctors who saved his life.
In fact, it was a team of people from Charlotte who worked to save Lorenz after they first met him during a mission trip earlier this year.
“He walked in with his mom and actually was seizing and had a fever of about 104. At that time, he was about 7 months old,” said Dr. Will Caldwell. The Charlotte ear, nose and throat surgeon was volunteering at a clinic in Haiti when he first saw Lorenz.
The little boy from Haiti was born with a deadly condition, essentially a tumor on his face.
Caldwell explained, “This is a condition where the front portion of the skull doesn’t close correctly and it allows brain tissue to fall through the hole and into the nose and face.”
“It was very hard for me to have my baby so sick,” mom Marie Balthazar said.
Angela Quinn is the co-founder of Give Hope Global, a newly formed Charlotte non-profit that travels to Haiti several times a year to work with orphanages there. She led the efforts to get Lorenz and his mom to Charlotte for the special surgery. That meant a lot of logistics, including getting him a passport, birth certificate and visa.
Quinn said, “Our goal really, if we could change one life than we’ve done what we went there to do.”
Three surgeons donated their time. They spent six-and-a-half hours working on Lorenz, and Dr. Caldwell says hearing him giggle now is all the reward they need.
“We heard this [his giggle] last Saturday and then we didn’t hear it for 4 or 5 days and I didn't sleep. It’s great. He’s a great kid. Hopefully he'll grow up and be president of Haiti. You never know.”