As they combed through a mountain of rubble almost a week after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, rescuers from Los Angeles doubted they would find anyone alive.
“It’s like a needle in a haystack,” says lead rescuer Terry DeJournett. Ginette Sainfort had last been seen at her bank but it now looked more like a mountain of debris. And there was no sign of Ginette.
But even as the days ticked away, her husband Roger never lost hope. “I never, never thought she was die,” he said. For six straight days, Roger stood vigil. He had spent every day of the last 15 years with his wife. He wasn’t about to leave her now.
“I called Ginette, Ginette, Ginette. She did no answer me,” he said. Or so he thought,. Under 30 feet of broken concrete, in total darkness, Ginette called out for Roger just as he did for her. “Everytime I hear his voice,” she said. “I said, I’m alive! I’m alive! Please help me, I’m alive!”
Though he couldn’t hear her please, Roger mobilized help, convincing an excavator to clear piles of rubble. Finally, after six days, they found her. Rescuers moved in, climbing into the hole where Ginette was trapped.
After working for hours, they finally managed to free Ginette’s pinned hands, and carry her out. That’s when the amazing happened – she started to sing. “It’s probably the most moving moment for any rescue that a rescuer will ever have,” said DeJournett.
Ginette is now back in Port au Prince, working at a different branch of the same bank. Despite her ordeal, and losing four fingers, she says she hasn’t had a single day of depression. “I’m alive,” she said. “I have no time for sadness.”
Just moments of happiness with her devoted husband.