Marie St. Amour, a wife of thirty five years to Joel St. Amour, a mother of three daughters and the grandmother of two toddlers has a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) to keep her alive while she waits for a life-saving heart transplant.
Born in Haiti to a mother who could not read or write, but by selling goods by the sides of the road, she made sure that Marie received an education. In 1989, Marie started a vocational school in for women in the Delmas area of Port-au-Prince. Many lives have been transformed in the past 25 years. An annex school is being supervised by Marie’s daughter Mirjo Hyppolite. In 2008, Marie took over the Simon Bolivar middle and high schools that her father started in 1965, where she instituted a feeding program that improved student success. After the devastating earthquake in 2010, the situation of many women in the country worsened as they were living under tents and Marie started a program to provide vocational training and services and 90 women graduated. It was during this time that Marie’s heart began to steadily fail. Thinking it was stress, Marie took a break for a few weeks at her sister’s home in Florida. While there, she was rushed to the ER, and her battle with cardiomyopathy started.