Christopher Laroche, Fausto Vincent,
Christopher "Freedom" Laroche (right) performing for children with H.I.V. in Haiti with Fausto Vincent (left) in 2014. Photo via Christopher "Freedom" Laroche's Facebook page

FORT LAUDERDALE — Christopher “Freedom” Laroche remembers hallucinating that his soul left his body. It was in the early 2000s, and Laroche was laying in a Toronto hospital, going in and out of a coma. He begged God to help him, promising to do something special for Haiti if he lived.

“The only thing I remember was I was Haitian,” Laroche, 38, said about his time at the hospital. “I did not remember my name. I did not remember nothing. At that point, I felt like my love for Haiti became magic.”

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Onz Chery is a Haiti correspondent for The Haitian Times. Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and Elite Sports New York before joining The Haitian Times in 2019.