Dallas Volunteer Dies From Injuries in Haiti Quake
January 17, 2010
A UMNS Report
By Joey Butler*
A member of a Dallas mission team providing eye care to Haitians has died of injuries suffered in the January 12 earthquake.
"Jean Arnwine passed away overnight in Guadeloupe. Doctors there tried to revive her, but were unsuccessful," Highland Park United Methodist Church announced on Friday (January 15).
Arnwine was 49.
A group of 12 missionaries from Highland Park UMC in Dallas was working in the village of Petit Goave when the clinic building collapsed. Volunteers had to dig out people buried in the rubble, the church said.
Another team member, Dr. Gary Fish, was believed to have broken ribs. He was en route to Martinique with Arnwine when she developed medical complications and their plane had to be rerouted to Guadeloupe. Fish is working with the U.S. Embassy in Guadeloupe to escort Arnwine's body home.
The other 10 mission workers landed in Dallas early January 15. Two members were treated at Dallas hospitals and released.
Highland Park has been making medical mission trips to Haiti since 1976. The Haiti Eye Clinic was built in 1985, and a surgery building was completed in 1999. Both offices are staffed by Haitian doctors supported in part by the church. These facilities provide special eye care weekly.
"Jean was very happy to be there," said team member Alexandra Paz. "She loved the Haitians; she loved helping them. It was her first time, and she was already talking about coming back next year."
*Butler is a content editor for United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tennessee.