Survivor Pulled from Rubble After 11 Days
By Kevin Caruso
January 24, 2010
Eleven days after the Haiti earthquake, Wismond Jean-Pierre, 24, was pulled from the rubble of a hotel in Haiti by rescue workers. His brother heard him tapping and went for help.
Rescue workers carry Wismond Jean-Pierre after
was pulled from the rubble of a collapsed building
After the rescue, Jean-Pierre told his story to reporters:
"I was in the fruit shop, on the ground floor. I felt that I had a very slim chance of being found. All those days I was down there knocking and yelling, and no one heard me.
"As a stroke of luck from God, only yesterday my brother heard me knocking on the plywood and found me. I said, 'It's me. I'm under the store,' and my brother and my friend went to get help.
"The rescuers came and brought tools and a saw, and that made me very happy. They were as tired as I was. They were shaking things to get me out.
"My mother loves me a lot, and if I had died she would have died right after me. I'm very grateful to be alive. I pray to God to bless the rescuers.
"For all those days I was searching for my cellphone. I couldn't move much.
"Then I found a case of cola, and potato chips. I stumbled across them and I said, 'OK, now I can live for one more day.' If I'm alive it's because of those things.
"In my head I said to God, 'If you save me, I will be your servant. I will glorify your name'.
"I didn't know how long I had been there. I didn't know if it was night or day. I thought I had been there for five or six days. Finally, I understood it had been 12 days.
"There were others trapped with me.
"There was the owner of the hotel, one of his sons and a cousin.
"There were two women on the first floor, one doing the cooking and the other doing the laundry.
"After the collapse I heard noise, but after a while it stopped. I was calling the people who were there, but none replied. I don't know if they were alive.
"I hope that search operations will continue because a lot of people lost hope that I could survive after 12 days, and they found me.
"If I am alive, there are others alive. If they had given up on me, I wouldn't be here today. I would have been dead in two or three days.
"All the time I spent under the rubble, I had a splitting headache and I felt a bit stiff. The doctors gave me some pills for that, and now I feel great."
Lt. Col Chrispophe Renou, a French rescue worker, said the event was a “miracle.” He and some members of the American and Greek rescue teams were seen weeping after the rescue.
on Digicel with your
location and need.
and missing persons.
If you're on the ground
in Haiti, Twitter using
#MapNow to report
items to rebuild that
response. They will
Red Cross use.