3 Years after the Earthquake – A Story of Survival

A mother tells how she and her son survived the earthquake in Haiti, 3 years ago today.  The following are her words describing what happened. The photo is of her son.

“My son was playing with his friends downstairs
when the house started shaking.

I was on the second floor taking a shower.  Then I was outside.  When I went to look for him I couldn’t find him.  That was at 4:00 pm.  We kept looking for him.  It started getting dark.  It was nine o’clock when we found him.

All we could see were his feet.
He was covered with bricks from the house.


Everyone told me they thought he was dead and told me not to go in there. I said, ‘that’s my son. I’m going to get him out of there.’ I started lifting up the bricks. I put him on my back and pulled him out.

As soon as I got him out, I backed up, and the whole building fell.


I went to the hospital and there were no doctors.  I stayed at the general hospital for five days.  I had no injuries.  All the other kids my son was playing with, they found them later and they were all dead.  There was only one doctor at the hospital.  He was a Swiss doctor.  He said my son’s case was so hard he needed immediate care.  He said he would put him on the boat to go back with him.  He took us both on the boat (the United States Navy Ship, Comfort, a hospital ship sent to Port Au Prince harbor after the earthquake).  I spent a month on the boat. I got there on a Friday.

On Saturday at midnight they came and took him to surgery.
I didn’t see him for 3 days.


They removed the crushed bones in his head.  After a month they sent us to the hospital in Cap Haitian.  He had a big brace on his head to keep him from getting hurt.

In Cap Haitian I met an American doctor who said she would do everything  she could to take my son to North Carolina and fix his head.  She arranged to fly us to Port Au Prince and then to North Carolina.  She was the one who did the surgery on my son The surgery on the Navy ship was just to remove the broken bones. In North Carolina they did bone grafts to repair his skull.

We spent 14 days in the hospital in North Carolina.
And they put new bones in his head.


After that they put in a metal rod to hold everything in place.  We spent 6 months in North Carolina before going back to Haiti. I have no family left in Haiti, so the doctor in Cap Haitian has been taking care of me since.  Now my son is fine.  He just gets cold at night.”

.    .    .    .    .    .    .


This November, doctors from a U.S. Medical team – Haitian Caribbean American Organization of Texas, HACAOT – examined her son.  Neurologically he was fine.  That day at clinic he moved and played and snuggled with his mom like all the other boys his age.  He didn’t remember anything from the earthquake and ensuing trauma.

Copyright 2012 Adam Bacher. All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.

This entry was posted in HACAOT, Haiti, Relief and Aid and tagged , , , .

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *