HAITI RELIEF LINKS:
"LINKS TO HAITI" FUNDRAISER - 2010 FOLKFESTIVAL
Thank You Anchorage Folk Fans! The "Links to Haiti" fundraiser organized for the Folk Festival by Dianne and Elliot Barske raised around $1,500 for the"Haiti Partners" organization to help in the Haiti relief efforts. We would like to share the following messages from the Barskes and Julian Brelsford concerning the rescue of his sister, Christa Brelsford during the disaster.
The Alaska Links to Haiti fundraiser at the Folk Festival went great. The total will be in the neighborhood of $1500. Thanks to all who helped make this a big success. We are travelling so we won't be able to move forward on getting the funds to where they are needed until after we get back on February 11. At that time we will determine on the best way to transfer these funds to the Haiti project. Thanks again for your help and support.
Dianne and Elliott Barske
Julian Brelsford wrote:
Thought I'd share an
idea that your "links to Haiti" made me think of:
Christa's life was saved by an amazing "chain" of events during the 24 hours between the earthquake and her arrival in Miami. Only by getting all of the pieces put together, and not accidentally missing a link somewhere, were we able to save her life. Many of the people who worked to save her didn't know her at all. They had nothing to gain from helping her, except that it's part of the human spirit, that we like to help a person in need. This isn't a story about a good Samaritan - it's a story of about 100 good Samaritans.
Wenson and Gerald didn't know if their families were safe. They didn't know if there was any chance of saving Christa's life. They gave it a try, and between us all, we removed all the concrete that was holding Christa down, and we got her free.
People along the road who didn't know any of us, told Gerald where to go for medical help. The United Nations base was ready to help people. (Christa couldn't go to the hospital nearby because it was destroyed in the earthquake!)
Gerald and Wenson brought Christa on a motorcycle to the UN base. Wenson held Christa all night because she was badly hurt, and she was feeling cold.
In the early morning, two doctors from Sri Lanka were there to bandage Christa up and give her water, cheese, and crackers.
The men from Sri Lanka helped Christa write and e-mail asking for help, using their computer. Another person we didn't know, an American doctor, helped us write to the people who do medical evacuations. The medical evacuation people were trying to help us, but they didn't get the chance.
Three Haitian teachers from the elementary school we had visited came to see us at the UN base. They didn't have much food and water, but they walked a few miles in the hot sun to help us. We asked them to get a message asking for help for us, sent to the USA. They used text messages, because phone service was barely working at all.
The Sri Lankan UN base commander, Sujith, took a risk. No-one knew where to go or what to do. Sujith found a motorcycle driver to take him to Port au Prince to get help for us. He doesn't speak the same language as the people in Haiti, but he did it anyway. (He speaks Sinhalese and English; people in Haiti speak Creole and French.) He found an American man in charge of an ambulance, and said "you'd better come get these people right away".
The American man was Lieutenant Colonel Strosky from the US Army. Strosky came with the ambulance and got us all safely to Port au Prince. The roads were a mess, and three times we took a road that was blocked and had to back-track to find a better road.
When we got to Port-au-Prince, there were French and American doctors had come from Miami. United Nations workers from Cuba and Mexico helped them get a place to bandage people up.
The doctors made sure everyone had food and water, and they made sure Christa got on the first airplane leaving for Miami. They didn't have supplies for surgery, but they could send her to a hospital where she'd be safe.
We couldn't have made it without the person who sent the airplane. A man who owned a private jet sent it to Haiti to help save people's lives. That's how Christa got to Miami. He didn't want to be thanked; he helped us anonymously.
Once she got to Miami, Christa was lucky to have a lot of excellent surgeons, along with a lot of other hospital workers who were able to save her life. Many of the hospital workers were Haitians. One was a woman whose father passed away in the earthquake, and almost all of the Haitians in the hospital had friends or family members who died.
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