MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Ohio man who dedicated his life to help the earthquake relief effort in Haiti has died after being shot in the stomach while doing work in Port-au-Prince.
David Bompart passed away Thursday afternoon at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He had been fighting for his life in the intensive care unit at Ryder Trauma Center after being flown there for treatment on January 25.
Bompart and his wife Nicolle had both lost their first spouses and turned their grief into goodwill.They started up a non-profit for widows and orphans called Eyes Wide Open International.
“You can take suffering in your own life and turn it into something that is positive for someone else,” said Nicolle Bompart.
Volunteers were building an orphanage in Haiti just outside of Port-au-Prince when thieves riddled David’s car with bullets after he had just taken money from the bank.
With the cash for his orphans food secure in his pocket, Dave walked a block away to the hospital that he had helped build.
Doctors in Haiti performed several surgeries on Bompart before flying him to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.
“I put my hand on his chest and he opened his eyes right away he knew my touch,” Nicolle said.
After hearing the news of his injury, she rushed to his side from the couples’ home in Columbus, Ohio.
“It’s extremely painful,” she told CBS4′s Tiffani Helberg last month breaking down in tears. “I’m sorry not to be able to talk to him. But I know that he knows that I love him.”
It is that love that has gotten them through so much before. They had adopted a little boy from Haiti who needed several life-saving surgeries.
Now, the family who has saved so many lives needs is fighting for their own.
“I know if David could speak right now,” she said. “He would say not to go there. He would say focus on healing people.”
It’s a sense of selflessness that comes to mind when so many talk about the man known as “Big Dave,” a man larger than life in every sense of the word.
“I think you should always end with hope no matter what the situation is,” said Nicolle struggling with her emotion. “We know that God loves us we have hope.”
She hopes his story will inspire change in others.
“Do something,” she said. “The littlest thing can change someone’s life.”
The Bomparts do not have health insurance. The medical bills are mounting. If you’d like to help you can call Neighbors 4 Neighbors that number is 305-597-4404.