Missionary group, Mercy hospital help save Haitian man’s life

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CREVE COEUR, MO (KPLR) - A world-renowned pastor from Haiti needed a miracle, and he found one at Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur.

In December, Dr. Jean Dorlus, 50, was driving in his hometown of Port-au-Prince, Haiti when he began to feel sharp pains in his chest.

''I remembered a friend of mine who had that same type of pain and he died, and I knew maybe I am having a heart attack," Dorlus said.

Turns out he was.

Because they have no ambulances or 9-1-1 in Haiti, Dorlus drove himself to five hospitals until he finally got help for the heart attack. But doctors told him they could not give him advanced cardiac care because they did not have the ability nor the technology to perform heart surgery, or even diagnostic tests like cardiac catheterization.

''I would probably die within a year or so," Dorlus said. ''I was actually making arrangements to die," he said.

Things looked bleak, but then Dorlus told his troubles to a friend, who told the story to another friend who happened to be working as a missionary in Haiti from Calvary Church in St. Peters, Missouri.

''It is quite amazing how God brought everything together," said Pastor Curt Neff.

When a member of Calvary church told the story to Mercy, the heart hospital offered to treat Dorlus for free.

Two days after arriving in St. Louis in January, he had a quadruple bypass.

''He really had absolutely horrible coronary disease and not very good heart function," said Dr. Ronald Cossman, the Mercy Cardiothoracic Surgeon who performed the bypass.

''I would expect him to do quite well," Cossman said.

Mercy provided more than $25 million of charity care in the St. Louis region in fiscal year 2014.