Seeing the gleam in his eyes and the way he finds it irresistible to sit still – just like most 5-year old boys – it’s hard to imagine that just six months ago Monley was pulled from the rubble after being trapped for an astonishing 8 days. As most of the world was losing those final glimmers of hope that survivors of the earthquake in Haiti could still be rescued, Monley’s uncle, Gary, uncovered him from under the collapsed home that had killed Monley’s parents. As Gary rushed into the street with the limp, dirt-covered boy in his arms, one of International Medical Corps’ doctors, Neil Joyce, was driving past. They put Monley in the car, gave him electrolytes, and rushed him to our doctors at Hopital de l’Universite d’Etat d’Haiti in downtown Port-au-Prince.
In the days and months that followed, Monley received intravenous fluids and further care from our team to get him back to health. We remember him dressed in an X-men t-shirt and Spiderman shorts, quizzically looking around our clinic, trying to make sense of all that was going on around him. As he regained his strength and slowly returned to normal, we knew we had witnessed a near miracle.
Today, Monley is in very good health and is still being cared for by his Uncle Gary. They are back in their old neighborhood, but living in a tent with Monley’s brothers and cousins by the rubble of their old home. Although Monley has a long road ahead, coping with the ordeal of losing his parents and home, he is safe, back in school and playing with his old friends again.
“It’s due in large part to his uncle’s amazing parenting skills that Monley is coping so well with the deaths of his parents.” said International Medical Corps Psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Jones who provided mental health services to the boy in the months following the quake. “Monley’s progress in the past few months is truly uplifting considering his circumstances but he and his family should continue to seek mental health support for the long-term.”
As Gary struggles to find work to support all of the children, he continues to bring the boys in for regular consultations with our staff in Haiti. This is his new reality six months after the earthquake, and beyond.