A fierce vibration jolted Joseph Cadeau from sleep early Saturday. Cadeau, a teenage boy, immediately got up and ran out of his home in Les Cayes, a city in the Southern department. On the way out, Cadeau felt something on his head. Everything went black.
Moments later, Cadeau woke up under the rubble of his house. He crawled out, with blood spewing from the top of his head and left foot. Unable to walk, Cadeau laid down in the street.
“It was really, really bad,” Cadeau said. “I fought and got out [of the rubble] on my own. Then when I got outside, I couldn’t even stand on my own.”
Cadeau is one of at least 12,268 people who were injured during a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti’s southwest region Saturday around 8:30 a.m. As of Aug. 23, at least 2,207 people died and 344 people have been reported missing, according to Haiti’s Civil Protection agency. Last week, there were reports of people still trapped alive in the rubble. Twenty-four of them, 20 adults and four children, were pulled out of the rubble alive Sunday.
Cadeau, who managed to get out of the rubble on his own, is not sure how long he laid in the street until help eventually arrived in the form of passersby who rushed him to a health facility. When Cadeau reached the health facility, he had to wait since the health workers were busy taking care of other injured people. While he waited, Cadeau’s foot began swelling.
“I received treatment too late, that’s why my foot is swollen like that,” said the teenager pointing at his foot, which has worsened by Thursday, when he spoke to The Haitian Times.
After Cadeau’s long wait, a health worker stitched his foot and gave him crutches. Other survivors’ wounds were infected because they were treated too late, some of them because they spent days under the rubble, responders said.