Friday, January 15, 2010

Joy Amid the Sorrow

I've been feeling weepy all day, saddened by the death and destruction in Haiti, but also overjoyed that a former co-worker of mine, Dan Woolley, has been found alive at the Hotel Montana.

Dan was buried in the flattened hotel but survived because he was in the elevator when the earthquake struck on Tuesday. I learned he was missing yesterday; he had been in Haiti as an employee of Compassion International, filming a story on Haitian AIDS victims. He had spoken to his wife here in Colorado Springs so she knew he was on his way back to the hotel just minutes before the earthquake hit. When she heard nothing from him since then, she feared the worst. We all did.

This morning, just as my son Ben was leaving for school, I learned via a Facebook page that his wife had been contacted by the State Department and told Dan had been found alive! I was so happy to be able to give Ben the good news before he went off to school! At that point, he hadn't been reached yet, but just a couple of hours later he was pulled out alive with minor injuries, and through the miracle of technology I got to watch it on a French news video!

If you haven't already seen this on the national news, here's a clip of a video, in English, that shows the rescue (Note: the man on the still photo with the caption "New York Man" isn't Dan - that's an NBC chosen "cover" for the news story):

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Despite the commentator saying his injuries are serious, his wife said on our local news that his injuries were minor, and she's on her way to meet him in Florida right now!

We are still waiting to hear the fate of the videographer he was traveling with, David Hames.

Dan and I worked together at a publishing company, and in fact started there at around the same time so we always had that in common. He has always had a way with children, and volunteered at a Vacation Bible School Ben attended, so he was Ben's group leader for that week. He made a huge impression on Ben, so much so that whenever he visited me at work he insisted on going upstairs to see "Mr. Woolley." Thankfully, he'll soon be reunited with his own two small boys, safe and sound!

We are rejoicing!


Pretty Things said...

Oh my goodness, I had no idea you were going through this. The Haiti earthquake is enormously sad, but when it hits you so profoundly personally -- oh, no words

I'm so glad for you, still praying for the others, and thanks for the post.

Devonay@LumpkinAndMe said...

I'm so happy your friend is safe. What good news to receive amid all the tragedy.

Linda Sue said...

WOW, Lucky dude! what a horrid mess- last nights news was not at all something I could sit through...just - wow...mother nature, she's a bitch!

Sandra said...

I am so happy for you that your friend survived, without any serious injuries. Its so nice to hear something good, with all the tragedy, oh how very sad, it has been this past few days. My prayers go out to all the people of Haiti.

maryboys said...

thanks for a ray of sunshine...this gave me a tear of joy in my eyes.


Spotted Sparrow said...

I'm so glad your friend is OK. said...

Its amazing that anyone survived. I hope your friend did not suffer too much while waiting for rescue.

Its good to hear a happy story admist the tragedy.

Melinda Cornish said...

I am so glad that Dan is safe and so sad that people are going thru such a scary time...I especially have kept all the little kids in my prayers!