Wednesday, January 27, 2010

17-year old woman rescued in Haiti after 15 days

Please pray for Darlene Etienne, who was lifted from the ruins of Port Au Prince today:

French rescuers pulled a teenage girl from the rubble of a home near the destroyed St. Gerard University on Wednesday, a stunning recovery 15 days after an earthquake devastated the city.

Darlene Etienne, near death from dehydration and a broken leg, was rushed to a French military field hospital and then to a hospital ship, groaning through an oxygen mask with her eyes open in a lost stare.

"She's alive!" said paramedic Paul Francois-Valette, who accompanied her into the hospital.

Her family said Etienne, 17, had just started studying when the disaster struck, trapping dozens of students and staff in the rubble of school buildings, hostels and nearby homes.

"We thought she was dead," her cousin, Jocelyn A. St. Jules, said in a telephone call from Marche Dessalines, a town north of the capital.

A voice from the rubble

Neighbors who heard a voice coming from the rubble of a private home down the road from the collapsed university called authorities who brought in the search and rescue team Wednesday.

Rescuer Claude Fuilla walked along the dangerously crumbled roof, heard the voice and then saw a little bit of dust-covered black hair in the rubble. He said he cleared some debris, managed to reach the young woman and could see she was alive.

The team then dug out a hole big enough to give Etienne some oxygen and water. She had a very weak pulse, but within 45 minutes they managed to remove her, covered in dust, from what appeared to be the collapsed porch area of the home.

"It's exceptional. She spoke to us in a very little voice; she was extremely weak," Fuilla said. "Before we stabilized her she was extremely dehydrated and weak. She had a very low blood pressure.

"She couldn't really talk to us or say how long she'd been there, but I think she'd been there since the earthquake. I don't think she could have survived even a few more hours."

Etienne did mumble something about having a little Coca-Cola with her in the rubble, he said. While Fuilla said she was rescued from what appeared to be the porch area of the house, a neighbor said he believed it was the shower room, where she might have had access to water.
It will be a true miracle if Darlene survives this ordeal.  I humbly send up heartfelt prayers for her full recovery, and heartfelt kudos to the French rescue team that found her.

1 comment:

  1. At the age of seventeen, she will have a better chance than most. May God be with her.