Family Seeks to Help Haitian Boy
After high school graduation, Rapid City's Shylah Slaughter felt the need to do something greater than herself.
Before going away to college, she completed missionary work at New Vision Ministries, a home to 15 orphaned or abandoned Haitian children.
Little did she know, the trip would not only change her life, but her family’s lives. Forever.
With that contagious smile and laugh, Michelet immediately caught the attention of Shylah Slaughter.
Gayla Slaughter, Shylah’s mother, says, "She was there for about a month and loved all the children, but kind of developed a special bond with Michelet. She brought back pictures and stories and told me about him."
But then it was time for college, with her youngest daughter now away at school and a husband in Iraq.
Gayla Slaughter began to think about that young boy her daughter just couldn't stop talking about.
Gayla Slaughter says, "She suggested that I should go and take care of him. He was having a medical procedure."
Michelet was born with an abnormally large head, and doctors needed to draw the excess fluid from his brain to save his life.
Gayla Slaughter says, "I had nothing holding me back, where normally I would have been teaching, and have children and a husband. It was kind of a weird time for me, and a perfect time for me just to pack up and leave. So I went to Haiti for three weeks and took care of him while he recovered from that surgery."
They didn't speak the same language, but they were inseparable.
Gayla Slaughter says, "I think love has its own language, and we just fell in love with each other and had a great time bonding and being together. So, when I came back, there was a part of my heart that I left in Haiti."
Now she's trying to get her heart back.
Gayla Slaughter says, "And I just – I couldn't get him off my mind. I knew somehow we had to help him."
The slaughter family has made it their mission to bring Michelet to the United States for the medical treatment he needs to walk. In August, she went back to Haiti for the second time with that intent.
Gayla Slaughter says, "And I spent 10 days, and with the help of some wonderful Haitian friends, we found the right people to help us get his birth certificate, his mom's death certificate, to get his grandfather's support, to get all the documents needed to either come on a medical visa or perhaps, some day, be adoptable."
Now all they need is a pledge from doctors, and, if they receive that gift, it would only take 90 days for a visa.
Gayla Slaughter says, "It would just be a joyful day to get on a plane and bring him home."