It's with profound grief that we share with you the deaths of two key Hands Together Haitian employees: Shiler Jean and Dr. Fanfan Blookington. Their tragic deaths occurred within six weeks of each other and it has left us severely saddened and very crippled.
Shiler Jean was found dead in our residence on June 26th. The cause of death was a bullet wound to the head. Circumstances surrounding his death are still under investigation. Dr. Fanfan was killed on August 16th, by two thieves who robbed him after going to the bank. He was shot multiple times by the assailants.
"I feel like I've lost a son," says Fr. Tom Hagan in response to the death of Shiler Jean. "We helped him turn from a life in the gangs and gave him great dignity and purpose in working in our central office. He was a prolific worker and handled the majority of our administrative work in Port-au-Prince. I cannot begin to express how painful this is and how much I will miss him."
Fr. Tom expressed the enormity of this tragedy by stating, "It is like we are a boat that has just been hit by two torpedoes and has rendered us dead in the water. It will take a long time to restructure our staff now and it feels like we just keep getting damaged."
Both Dr. Fanfan and Shiler held invaluable roles within our organization. Fanfan was incredibly dedicated and reliable, taking out the mobile clinic every day and treating thousands of sick people in Cite Soleil. It cannot be overstated how much he was loved. Shiler handled many of our programs and staff contracts and issues. He would check in with Fr. Tom every night before bed to make sure he was all right.
"I don't think anyone really understood or grasped how close Fr. Tom and Shiler had become. Remarkably, Tom was, for the first time, beginning to tell me that he actually looked forward to getting back to Haiti to work on the projects, and I think that Shiler was a big reason for that. For so long our efforts were so hampered and sluggish, and we had just begun to develop a team of Haitians who were working well together. I know that it is blow and a pain that Tom will carry to the end. My heart hurts for him and I am so disgusted at the ugly and dark side of the Haitian life and the cruelty and division that exists among this poverty. Only God can handle this. " Doug Campbell
" Fanfan's murder was almost too much to bear. I was very fond of him and of all our staff, he was probably the easiest to work with and rely upon. He gave excellent council, he would help any of our 5000 students, their parents, our staff... anytime. Most of all, he was genuine and really loved being a doctor. He had found is mission and God was working through him. I cannot imagine Hands Together without him. We are fortunate that Fanfan brought on another Haitian doctor to help with the clinic about six months ago, and we also have some help from a volunteer priest from California, Fr. Harry. We will trudge on, but I will really miss him. " Doug Campbell
We ask that you pray for both of them that God has them safely at rest in the place prepared for them.