Standing Up to Adversity

Orecchi Debras, 8, can still manage to flash an impish grin sometimes, which is a remarkable feat under the circumstances.

He suffered a serious head injury when the quake demolished the house of a friend who he was visiting when the quake struck.

At the same time his sister, Madeline, was buried in a collapsed church building. It took two days before she was discovered and pulled from the rubble. At the time of writing, she lies on a stretcher wrapped in bloodied bandages outside the Hospital Universitaire La Paix.

Orecchi also lost his home. He is now living on the street with his mom and dad, sleeping under the stars on plastic sheets.

They have only the clothes they stand up in. Orecchi’s mother, Marie Rose, says she did try to wash some of them once, using water from a drain. She has not tried it again. She says she hates living on the streets.

“You can’t find anything that you need. The streets are dirty and they stink,” she says.

Perhaps even more troubling, the family has run out of money, which they were using to buy food and water. When spoken to by this reporter, around 3 p.m., they had not eaten all day.

Strangely, this does not trouble Marie Rose as much as one might think.

“God is going to help us,” she says.

So what other positives are in Orecchi’s life? Probably two. Firstly, World Vision is supplying medicines—such as dressings, antibiotics, tetanus shots and materials for the treatment of broken bones—to La Paix hospital where he and his sister are getting treatment. Secondly, both his parents are alive.

In particular his father, Rosmond, had an extraordinary escape.

The family home was built on a hillside and he was the only one at home when the quake struck. His wife was at work. Seconds before the quake hit, he had gone to the outhouse to relieve himself. It will probably be the most fortuitous call of nature of his life. He had just stepped outside again, when the quake hit. Three houses slid down the hillside and crashed into and demolished his home.

Rosmond and the outhouse remained standing.

Here are some photos taken by World Vision photographer Jon Warren, who is on the ground in Haiti.

To find out how you can help, visit World Vision ACT:S.

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