Fournier, Arthur M., M.D., Herlihy, Daniel. "Revelations." The Zombie Curse: A Doctor's 25-year Journey Into the Heart of the AIDS Epidemic in Haiti. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006.
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The Zombie Curse: A Doctor’s 25-Year Journey into the Heart of the AIDS Epidemic in Haiti
mission that I would tell him when I thought the situation was hopeless and that I didn’t think we had reached that point yet. Although his financial and social problems seemed insurmountable, his T cells were still holding their own. I agreed with him that returning to Haiti would be disastrous, for I was sure there were no resources there to treat his illness. I told him that he had to trust what Alina had said. If there was to be any hope of him remaining in this country he had to go to the INS office and straighten out his immigration status. Then Margaret and I could continue to treat him and Alina could arrange for some financial assistance.
Régis complained of losing vision in his left eye. I tested his vision with our eye chart and found that his vision was still 20/20 in both eyes. His eye examination was normal. He was almost as frightened of blindness as he was of losing his mental powers. I tried to reassure him that his vision tested normally, but he was adamant that his eyesight was failing.
I came to my office one morning and found Alina fighting back tears. My first thought was that she was going to tell me that Régis had died. Instead, she told me the following:
“I’m so angry at myself, Art, for not listening to him,” she said, composing herself. “It was exactly what Régis said would happen. For months I have been telling him that he had to go to the INS office and straighten out his immigration status. He told me that if he went there they would arrest him. I assured him that it wouldn’t happen, and when he finally took my advice, that’s exactly what happened.
They called me this morning from the emergency room. There are two versions of what happened. Régis claims that he went to the INS office, and after waiting for a long time in line he started not to feel well and asked if he might be moved ahead in line. When the others in line found out he was a Haitian and didn’t feel well, someone yelled, ‘Hey, you’ve got AIDS!’ Suddenly they were beating him and kicking him until he fell to the ground. Guards came and arrested him and took him to Ward D [our prison medical ward inside