On Wednesday afternoon the Haitian amputee soccer team visited the VA Hospital in Dallas. Due to the swift action of Recreation Therapist Leslie Revilla, the hospital was able to squeeze in an afternoon for the Haitians to share their stories and demonstrate their skillsets with the soccer ball. The show began with a clip of the Haitian's visit to Texas back in 2014 that was produced by Sports Anchor Mike Doocy of Fox 4 News and the trailers to two documentaries that are being produced by Operation Go Quickly, The Pursuit of Hope and Fracillon's Dream.
Francillon then took the floor to share his story about how he was able to walk again after having a reoccurring dream of a missionary that would provide him the opportunity. He then spoke about his artwork that he develops from the bottom of tin barrels and his acrylic artwork paintings which has become the main source of income. Francillon humbly uses the money he receives to help fund his family back home and the members of his soccer team because back home, the disabled are viewed as a nuisance to society which makes it impossible for people like him to get a job.
Shortly after the President of Operation Go Quickly Fred Sorrells shared the testimonies of all the soccer players, many of whom lost their limbs due to the catastrophic earthquake back in 2010. The Haitians then proceeded to do a demonstration for all the veterans present with a drill of keep away and juggling the soccer ball while passing it to one another. As the veterans were watching on, the Haitian's then invited some of the abled bodied individuals to come and kick the soccer ball around. Goal keeper Jean Baby even set up a goal for the veterans to shoot on him in which one of them actually dribbled the ball around and scored two goals. There were lively smiles and cheers of joys coming from all the veterans as they were so happy to see such young men coming from the worst of conditions overcome their adversities to play the sport they loved in a world class level.
The show ended with a group photo, however, a huge surprise was in order at the end. Retired Army veteran Terry Mcclatchey started the Amputee Coalition and his sole purpose is to motivate these veterans to never quit. Terry is no stranger to the turmoil that an amputation brings. He lost one of his fingers in combat and returned back to active duty even after doctors told him that he would never use his hand again. Then, due to a diabetic ulcer, Terry had to have his foot amputated which then left him confined to a wheelchair. Nonetheless, that did not stop him from devaluing his life purpose. He always knew that he could achieve anything, as long as he put his mind to it. This is the very reason why he started the organization and because there are so many veterans that take their lives every single day (22 a day), he wants to provide them a message of hope. Terry will be collaborating with USA amputee soccer player and former war veteran Robert Ferguson to share another testimony of the incredible things that God has been doing in the life of an amputee who lost all hope.
The Haitian amputee soccer team will be spending their first Thanksgiving at a church in Mckinney and enjoying a feast provided by the church members. The team will then head out to Houston on Saturday to play an exhibition match with US amputee player Robert Ferguson at the Houston Dynamo Academy Center. After spending a few days in Houston, the team will then depart of Atlanta, Georgia to celebrate the National Day of Disabilities. To get directly involved with the Haitian/USA Goodwill Tour, go to the Operation Go Quickly website.
From the Haitian Amputee Soccer Team and Operation Go Quickly: Thank you to all the Veterans who have made the sacrifice to preserve the freedoms of the American citizens and to all a Happy Thanksgiving!
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