Mackenson, playing with one of the patients
Drs Ric and Wendy Bonnell had been working on relief efforts in Haiti for several years. In 2012, they were in the process of adopting their son, Mackenson, when he developed diabetes. Ric flew in supplies from the United States to manage Mackenson’s illness. Through this experience, the Bonnells realized that they had never before encountered another child with diabetes in Haiti.
At the same time, Dr Chris Carpenter and his wife Lisa Dickey, a public health expert, were caring for a teenage girl, Walencia, who also had newly-diagnosed diabetes. They had moved her from the hospital where they were working to their apartment so that she could receiver appropriate care.
These two stories demonstrated the lack of health care facilities in Haiti or children with diabetes and other chronic diseases. Ric and Chris formulated a plan to start a clinic as a new center for pediatric chronic diseases. Just six months after Mackenson’s diagnosis, the Kay Mackenson Clinic welcomed its first patients.
History and Founders
"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