As some of you know, half of my writing time is spent on boxing (I have a blog over at trueslant.com). I avoid making too many references to the sport on this site as I try to separate the two as most people aren’t interested in the combination. However, every now and then, a subject matter comes up that touches both, and often not for good reasons.
Haitian sensation Andre Berto, a world champion at welterweight and one of the best fighters in the sport was scheduled to meet the legendary Shane Mosley on January 30th this year. It was a fight that Berto, who lives in Florida, had been dreaming of for years, and had by all accounts prepared meticulously for. However, the massive earthquake that hit his native country threw a wrench into his preparations, and he was forced to pull out. Berto lost many family members in the devastating earthquake and jumped on the first plane he could get to help his fellow country men. I’d definitely recommend reading the article he submitted to the Huffington Post detailing his traumatic, tragic but ultimately uplifting experience in the nation he calls home. Here’s an excerpt:
Back at the Medishare hospital, I see a truck pull up with a father
and his daughter. His daughter has passed out. I pick her up and carry
her into the hospital. When I lay her down, she opens her eyes and I
tell her it’s going to be okay. I didn’t think anything was wrong with
her. There were no cuts and no bruises. But not even five minutes
later, she falls into cardiac arrest. Doctors rip her shirt open and
start CPR. The father starts to yell and cry. I grab him and tell him
to relax and he tells me she is all that he has because everybody else
died in the quake. The doctors brought her back and revived her three
times but the last time she didn’t come back. Her father grips my shirt
in pain and sorrow and falls to his knees. Wow. It’s hard to imagine a
parent losing their child and actually witnessing her death. Some other
workers and I pick the young girl up and place her in a body bag.
Another day and another life lost, but many were saved as well. It
felt good to see doctors and volunteers from all around the world
helping with Haiti’s efforts. Within all the pain and hurt I’ve seen so
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.