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Three Years After Haiti Earthquake, Dancer Works To Rebuild Life

Nick Kozak

The earthquake that struck Haiti three years ago this month sent a concrete wall crashing down onto the 30-year-old dancer Fabienne Jean. Her right leg was crushed and had to be amputated. When Fabienne danced again, she was hailed as a symbol of Haiti’s post-earthquake recovery.

But as reporter Jacob Kushner discovered, the quest to rebuild one woman’s life would take much more than that.

In the first part of this four-part series about Fabienne, Kushner examines the hopes and expectations that evolved in the aftermath of the earthquake. 

Fabienne became a sort of symbol for Haiti's recovery and her story quickly found its way into part of a narrative about the resilience of the Haitian people and hope for the country's recovery. 

Here are just a few of the optimistic stories that were first written about her: 

If you had only followed Fabienne's story for the first few months after the quake, it might seem as though she was on her way to a full recovery and a new life—thanks to an international community of doctors and healers.
But as Kushner found out, the story didn't end that way. Check back tomorrow to discover what happened next. 

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