Tuesday 28 February 2017

Haiti man rescued after 27 days

The last person to be rescued from the quake befor Mr Monsigrace was Darline Etienne, who was pulled from the rubble after 15 days
The last person to be rescued from the quake befor Mr Monsigrace was Darline Etienne, who was pulled from the rubble after 15 days

A Haitian rice vendor may have lived trapped under the rubble of a market for 27 days with little more than water to survive on, a doctor has said.

The man, trapped under the debris after the building collapsed in the country's devastating earthquake, recounted the dramatic tale of survival to medical workers after regaining consciousness.

He said he had just finished selling rice for the day when the quake struck, adding he had been able to survive because he was trapped in an area where stall-holders sold food and drink.

Medical workers were sceptical at first, but changed their mind when they heard his story.

"Based on that (his story), we believe him," said Dr. Dushyantha Jayaweera, a physician at the University of Miami Medishare field hospital.

The patient -- identified as Evans Monsigrace -- was first taken to a Salvation Army medical centre in Port-au-Prince on Monday. He was then moved to the University of Miami hospital because of his critical condition.

Mr Monsigrace was suffering from severe dehydration and malnutrition, but health care workers expressed doubt about his story when some of his lab work came back relatively normal. They changed their mind when he woke up and lucidly recounted his tale.

Before Mr Monsigrace, the last confirmed survivor found in Haiti was a 16-year-old girl removed from rubble by a French rescue team 15 days after the quake. Doctors said at the time that disaster survivors could sustain themselves with a water supply and without medical attention for up to two weeks.

Nery Ynclan, a University of Miami media officer in Haiti, said the rice vendor was in a stable condition.

"Someone could not survive 28 days without water," Ynclan said of the frail 28-year-old man whose legs are rail thin. "You can go nine weeks without food."

Press Association

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