David Bompart, Philanthropist Helping To Rebuild Haiti, Shot, Robbed
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS/JENNIFER KAY
MIAMI -- A U.S. man who helped build a trauma center in Haiti after January 2010's devastating earthquake was treated at that hospital after being critically wounded during a robbery in the capital of Port-au-Prince, his wife and doctors said Friday.
David Bompart, 50, of Columbus, Ohio, was shot Tuesday afternoon outside a bank and was in critical condition Friday at a Florida hospital. Bompart was picking up money for an orphanage building project when robbers sprayed bullets at him at close range. He was hit but able to walk to a nearby Project Medishare hospital for help, said his wife, Nicolle Bompart, 45.
The robbers stole his camera and passport, but the money for the orphanage remained safe in Bompart's pants pocket, his wife said. The suspects have not been arrested.
"I feel like this was a robbery (by) some people who were desperate to feed their families, and I choose to look at it as that's why they did it," Nicolle Bompart said.
He underwent two surgeries at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare before he was airlifted Thursday night to a Miami hospital, said spokeswoman Catherine Murphy.
Bompart was on a ventilator at the Ryder Trauma Center and had gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen, said Dr. Nicholas Namias, the center's co-medial director.
"What we're dealing with now are the effects of being in shock for a long time in Haiti," Namias said.
Bompart managed Project Medishare's warehouse and logistics, said co-founder, Dr. Barth Green.
Since October, Bompart had been working on building the orphanage through the couple's own charity, Eyes Wide Open International, said his wife, who flew to Haiti after the shooting.
The couple has spent much of their time since January 2010 flying between Haiti, Florida and Ohio for their charity work and for medical care for their 14-year-old son, a Haitian boy they adopted after the earthquake. The Bomparts also have a 26-year-old daughter.
Bompart knew about the potential risks of working in Haiti's capital, which had been prone to instability and violence before the earthquake. But he was devoted to helping widows and orphans in Haiti and he felt he could rely on his training as a former United Nations employee and as a member of the military in his native Trinidad and Tobago, his wife said.
"Honestly, if he was able to tell you, he would say that he would do it all over again, if it would change someone's life or bring awareness to this situation," Nicolle Bompart said. "He would still do it, because that's the kind of guy he is."
To support Bompart's charity Eyes Wide Open International, click here.