September 28, 2009 - April 15, 2019
“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” -Mother Teresa
Whoever says that a smile can’t change the world clearly never met Frantzky, who had the JOY of Jesus living inside of him. How could this little boy who had been through so much in his short time on Earth, have THAT much JOY?
The only answer is that Frantzky’s joy wasn’t of this world.
It’s crazy to think about how one little Haitian boy with special needs, who had been outcasted, discarded, and abandoned, spoke no words and never took a step - forever changed the lives of every single person who was blessed enough to meet him...with nothing more than a JOYFUL smile.
Frantzky was born with club feet, a simple fix for a child born just 800 miles north in America, but in Haiti, this deformity made him different. In the prominent voodoo culture of Haiti those with a disability are seen as cursed, demon-possessed, or disposable rather than beautiful Children of God. Unfortunately this false perception is what led Frantzky’s birth mom to abandon him.
At 3 years old, he was left on a dirty mattress on a front porch to fend for himself.
A missionary at myLIFEspeaks found him after hearing what they thought was a wounded animal crying. What they found was an extremely malnourished 3 year old boy weighing only 9 pounds. After much effort and attempted empowerment on myLIFEspeaks’ part, it became clear that Frantzky’s birth mom didn’t want him, even with myLIFEspeaks’ help. Haitian Child Services then stepped in, releasing Frantzky into myLIFEspeaks’ care. In that moment, this beautiful little boy was given a second chance at LIFE... a life lived to the FULL. All he needed was love and for someone to SPEAK UP when he couldn’t for himself. And that is exactly what myLIFEspeaks has done from the beginning.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
This Proverb is at the core of myLIFEspeaks’ entire mission. Frantzky was enveloped immediately into the myLIFEspeaks family and for the first time in his life truly loved fully and unconditionally. This love quickly began to heal him.
However, his new chance at life still had many hurdles and obstacles from his past that challenged his future. Frantzky received therapy, nourishment, care, and endless amounts of Christ-like love at myLIFEspeaks and he began to smile more as for the first time in his life he belonged. But Frantzky had brain issues and significant developmental delays either from birth or his birth mother’s severe neglect. With therapy and nutrition, he was able to develop and grow, but shortly after coming into myLIFEspeaks’ care, Frantzky’s health worsened. He had a rare strain of malaria and was getting sicker by the hour. The medicine he needed couldn’t be found anywhere in Haiti. His future was looking bleak.
This is where God provided one of many miracles at the hands of myLIFEspeaks and this special little boy. An infectious disease doctor in Austin Dr. Coburn Allen (Coby) diagnosed Frantzky and recommended the medicine for treatment, but on questioned loomed, “How to get the meds to Haiti?" Another call to another doctor in Florida for ideas only to find out his father is the UN Ambassador to Haiti! These connections were entirely God-ordained and within 24 hours a UN jet from the United States was meeting Missy at the Port au Prince international airport, with the lifesaving medicine for Frantzky. This opened the eyes of many in and around the village of Neply to witness that if God loves Frantzky, a special needs child who was discarded and believed to be “cursed,” to send an airplane with medicine to Haiti just for him, then God must love me too. This opened the hearts and minds of many Haitians for the Gospel to be shared and believed.
Not only that, but BECAUSE of Frantzky, the doctors and families who were involved in getting him the medicine were compelled to start a medical clinic together at myLIFEspeaks to bring basic, yet life-saving medical care to the village and area. Brent Rutland, Coby and Sue Allen opened the clinic in August 2013 and today are intricately involved in the Board of Directors and leadership of myLIFEspeaks. God used Frantzky to establish LIFE Clinic and to spread the Gospel to the entire village of Neply and the surrounding villages.
Brent later said, “I can’t wait to one day (even if it is in Heaven) share with Frantzky that even though some people thought he was not worth the effort, his LIFE was worth a chartered plane just to get him medicine. That’s how important we all are to God.”
This is a theme throughout Frantzky’s entire life, he constantly showed us the magnitude, depth, and beauty of God’s unfathomable love. God no doubt used him to speak volumes. And the incredible thing is, he did it without ever saying a word. He didn’t need to.
His LIFE spoke.
Frantzky found his new forever family thanks to Anne Marie Stern and myLIFEspeaks’ House Families, with his mom Tania, grandmother Lolo, and four siblings, Sarah, Darbens, Olivier, and Atyms. Sarah, who has autism and other undiagnosed disabilities, had a special relationship with Frantzky and the mLs staff believes the two siblings had their own way of communicating. Frantzky understood Sarah, when no one else could. With loving care from his family and myLIFEspeaks, Frantzky continued to grow, love, and thrive. His family adored him and treated him just like everyone else. He played with his brothers and sister, went to school at LIFE academy, was adored by his teachers, mLs staff, and team members. He had many friends and was loved for who he was. For the first time in his life, Frantzky wasn’t seen as different. At myLIFEspeaks, he was family. He was a beloved brother, son, grandson, friend, nephew, cousin, and classmate. He attended birthday and graduation parties. He participated in normal everyday family activities and was truly loved.
Mike said, “That’s the point of what we do at myLIFEspeaks. Everyone has worth. The biggest win in our world is when we realize a family is created that doesn’t look “normal” to those on the outside but looks perfectly normal to those inside. God created us in His image and we want everyone to experience the worth that comes from knowing God loves you personally. The love that led him to give His own Son, Jesus, as an atoning sacrifice for our own sinfulness. The “agape” love that offers us worth when we don’t deserve it. Understanding your own worth and the worth of others is one step closer to understanding God’s unconditional love.”
Unfortunately, the lack of basic but essential medical care in Haiti would be a recurring struggle in Frantzky’s life but this time his care was in the hands of Haitian doctors and prejudicial public healthcare. LIFE clinic, inspired by Frantzky, can handle many of the basic medical needs of the village but when it comes to bigger health battles mLs still has to rely on Haitian hospitals.
Good health and medical care is hard to find in Haiti. Unlike in America, you aren’t guaranteed live-saving care or even basic medical necessities like IVs, oxygen, and around the clock check-ins. This is especially true if ignorance and prejudice is involved.
Heartbreakingly, this is what happened when Frantzky got a virus and it kept getting worse to the point where he needed to go to the Haitian hospital. After mLs staff took him from hospital to hospital, and faced complication after complication, the Haitian health care system failed Frantzky and ignorant doctors and nurses refused him basic care because of his “differences” and he passed away as a result. A horrific and unimaginable tragedy, at the hands of doctors who were trusted to provide care to a child in need.
There was nothing more that myLIFEspeaks staff could have done, it was out of their control and they trusted in the hospital they had used so many times before to take care of Frantzky properly. For more on exactly what happened, Mike Wilson wrote an in-depth and powerful article, see link below.
But, Frantzky’s legacy doesn’t end here.
His life will continue to speak and change the hearts and minds of those who hear his story and see his smile. myLIFEspeaks has the conviction and resolve today, now more than ever, to permanently change public health care in Haiti so that these horrific situations never happen to anyone again. (See our BUILDing commUNITY) Although we cannot begin to understand or answer the thousands of why’s of this heartbreaking situation, we know that God is in control. As much as we needed Frantzky here, God must have needed him even more in Heaven. It doesn’t make sense and in our humanness we won’t ever understand until we get to Heaven ourselves. However, we CAN and DO have hope in the fact that Frantzky is undoubtedly in Heaven running, dancing, praising, and worshipping Jesus in perfect peace and free from any suffering or sin of this world.
Frantzky will no longer be seen as different, discarded or disabled. He is entirely whole, perfect, and lovingly in Jesus’ arms.
Although it is hard to even imagine his smile being any bigger or brighter than it was here on earth, it is certain that in Jesus’ presence, Frantzky’s smile is radiating bigger and brighter beyond anything we can fathom. As much as our hearts break because Frantzky is no longer here with us, we have peace and hope knowing where he is. The ONLY desire stronger than our heartbroken longing for him to be with us, is Frantzky’s overwhelming desire for US to be WITH HIM.
We love you Frantzky.
In response to the numerous requests we have received, in lieu of flowers we ask you to continue Frantzky’s legacy. All donations will go towards Family Empowerment and supporting our Family Homes.