Kay Mackenson Clinic, Saint-Marc, Haiti
Kay Mackenson Clinic was founded in 2012 when the Carpenters/Dickeys and the Bonnells met in Haiti. Dr. Ric Bonnell and his wife Wendy, both pediatricians involved with relief efforts in Haiti for years, were in the process of adopting their son Mackenson when he developed diabetes in August 2012. Ric, then in the US, immediately flew to Haiti to provide his son with insulin, monitors, assorted diabetes supplies and education on how to effectively manage his illness. Through this experience, the Bonnells realized that they had never before encountered another child with diabetes in Haiti. During the same week, Dr. Chris Carpenter, also a pediatrician, and his wife Lisa Dickey, a public health expert, were involved in the care of Walencia, a teenage girl with newly diagnosed diabetes who they had moved from the hospital where they worked into their apartment so that she could receive appropriate care.
These two coincidental stories obviating the lack of health care facilities for children with diabetes and other chronic diseases in Haiti, Chris and Ric devised a plan to start Kay Mackenson (KM) as a new center for pediatric chronic diseases. Just six months after Mackenson’s diagnosis, KM welcomed its first patients.
“We realized that our eldest adoptive son, Mackenson, probably would have died or had severe complications from his diabetes had it not been discovered early. I take care of a lot of diabetic kids in the US who live normal, active lives thanks to excellent medical care. I want kids in Haiti to have the same opportunity. I want Kay Mackenson to help kids with chronic diseases live normal, healthy lives in Haiti.” (Dr. Ric Bonnell)