One year ago, a 7.0-earthquake buried Haiti’s capital city Port-au-Prince – and hundreds of thousands of people along with it – in rubble. So much was destroyed in seconds that evening, so many lives lost. But in the deafening tragedy emerged the remarkable stories of hope and survival.
Among them is the incredible story of Monley, a five-year-old boy who survived eight days beneath the concrete ruins of his collapsed home which caused the deaths of both his mother and father. Monley, and the International Medical Corps volunteer nurse who cared for him, captured widespread media attention.
International Medical Corps found Monley, cradled in his uncle’s arms, limp and dirt-caked, just minutes after he was recovered. We rushed him to the General Hospital, where our volunteer doctors and nurses pumped fluids into his body and cared for him over the coming days.
Today, one year later, Monley is perfectly healthy, living with his uncle, brothers, and cousins in his old neighborhood, literally right next to where his house once stood. He is in school and happy to be reunited with old friends.
His uncle, Gary said that Monley is shy around strangers, but talks a mean streak at home and enjoys playing his handheld video game.
Monley is also no longer living in the tent city where he was six months ago. Now, he and his family live in a brightly painted, one-room house built by UNOPS. Gary, said it had fared well during the country’s rainy fall and Hurricane Tomas, which battered the country in November.
The family still keeps in close contact with International Medical Corps volunteer nurse, Gabriela McAdoo, who cared for Monley when he was first brought to the hospital.
But despite improvements in their lives, they are far from where they were before the quake. Gary still struggles to find work, which makes supporting five children, as well as Monley’s grandfather, a herculean task. Monley’s great aunt, who lives in Florida, is looking to take the entire family in, but it is not clear if or when that will happen .