C.A.R.E Continues to Care – Ruthnie’s Story

//C.A.R.E Continues to Care – Ruthnie’s Story

C.A.R.E (Corporate Aviation Responding in Emergencies) has done so much to assist with the Haiti relief, providing over 1,000,000 lbs of supplies and around the clock flight coordination, and although they have many success stories that will draw on your heart strings, this is just one of those stories.

Tejyl the Rescue CanineWhile on a relief mission to Haiti, C.A.R.E’s first canine passenger, a rescue dog named Tejyl became a hero. Joe (Tejyl’s handler) and Tejyl went down to assist with the devastation of the earthquake and lent a paw in finding people trapped in the Hotel Montana. Amidst the rubble and debris Tejyl befriended a 15 year old girl named Ruthnie, but unlike most young girls, Ruthnie is a double amputee. Although Joe and Tejyl could not help her on their first mission, they did not forget Ruthnie, and with the assistance of C.A.R.E they worked endlessly to find a way to get her out of Haiti and to get her medical help.

Removing Ruthnie from Haiti was not an easy mission, but Joe, Tejyl and C.A.R.E did not let anything deter them.  After tireless coordination between two governments, four hospitals, two fire departments and a lot of NGOs on March 3rd their mission was accomplished.

Ruthie Joe and Tejyl, with the assistance of C.A.R.E went back to Haiti to fly Ruthnie away from the destruction and to Bellevue Hospital in New York where a surgeon had volunteered to provide the medical care Ruthnie so badly needed. Tejyl remained dutifully by Ruthnie’s side. It was as if Tejyl knew through canine senses that Ruthnie was much worse off then everyone originally believed and knew she would need a friend. From the earthquake in Haiti to landing in New York, Ruthnie endured more than most of us could every dream…and though it all she had hope.

Banyan was proud to be one of the stops that Ruthnie made on her journey to New York. We are all keeping her in our thoughts and prayers

By | 2016-10-14T18:11:22+00:00 March 10th, 2010|Giving Back|7 Comments


  1. joe fitzgerald March 19, 2010 at 12:54 am - Reply

    A few quick notes on finding this gracious blog: Ruthnie is doing well toward her rehabilitation in NY; Tejyl and I were privileged and blessed to have had the support of Banyan, C.A.R.E., The Grace Foundation of New York, A Leg To Stand On, the wonderful volunteer medical staff in the hospital tent at Medishare in Haiti.

    One important correction is that, while Tejyl and I worked search and rescue in Haiti, Tejyl and Ruthnie and I discovered each other in the tent hospital, after she was rescued by others, six days following the earthquake. Ruthnie was so gracious and poised, we didn’t realize till much later the extent of her wounds and the resulting amputations. Thank you, folks for the precious gift you’ve given this young girl.

  2. Ivan Radev March 19, 2010 at 8:19 am - Reply

    Joe and Tejyl are good friends of mine. They use to leave many days in my Office in MINUSTAH Log Base in Haiti. I was happy and proud listenning every day from Joe what Tejyl did. Both, together they are very good Tea.

  3. Bertha de la Torre March 19, 2010 at 11:46 am - Reply

    I just want to commend Joe “Jody”) Fitzgerald and his precious dog Tejyl,for their dedication, good and kind heart, and love of mankind. People like Jody are a true inspiration, and their actions are rays of hope for mankind.

    Many blessings to Joe Fitzgerald and his beautiful dog Tejyl!

  4. Bill Mohan March 19, 2010 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Jodi has been a friend for years and has spent his career helping others as a substance abuse counselor. What this amazing man won’t tell you is that he has been out of work for the past 2 years. As a decorated Marine,it’s a disgrace that this highly trained, compassionate individual is in need himself. Jodi only thinks of helping others, never asking for anything in return. Maybe someone out there knows of an available position and can help him. God knows, he’s earned every good deed that comes his way.

  5. Michael Graham March 20, 2010 at 12:06 am - Reply

    Dear Jody,

    I am so happy you made the effort to go to Haiti when the obstacles were large and the mission was unclear.

    You used uncommon initiative and resolve to be of use there with your canine alter ego, DogMan !!!!

    And look at the result: what a marvel ! A girl is recovering from her wounds instead of dying slowly from infection.

    We are instructed to care for each other. And you demonstrated why.

  6. Stephanie Carraway,DVM March 24, 2010 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Congratulations to you both.I am blessed and honored to be trusted with Tejyl’s care.Safe travels to you both. See you soon.

  7. drrfmason March 25, 2010 at 3:18 am - Reply

    I have been fortunate to know Jodie for years. He is a caring, trusting individual who always puts others first. His avocation,(counseling) and his love of humanity make him a rarity. He truly listens and seems to know what people need even when not verbally expressed.He always thinks of ways to make things happen by constantly thinking ” outside of the box” and turning”no can do” into” yes we can”. His attitude has taken a personal cost because he would not “go along” with a grievous wrong.He could use some assistance in securing a job placement. Although a strong advocate for changing the lives of others, he is rather “self-effacing” when it comes to listing his qualifications..His tanacity is amazing, his compassion endless, he knows what people seem to need without their having to verbally express it.
    He crosses all bridges,countries, customs, races,religions..He simply sees the goodness in all souls.. He accepts people as they are
    and really “listens” to them with his heart..In closing it has been a joy for me to know Mr Fitzgerald. His tenacity is amazing, and his compassion endless.. It is people like him who restore our spirits and our faith in the goodnes of mankind.

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