Family of Alaskan Trapped After Haiti Quake Takes in Rescuer

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

A year ago today, former Anchorage resident Christa Brelsford was stuck underneath the rubble of a house in Haiti.

The young man who saved Christa, Wenson Georges, is now in Anchorage living with the Christa’s parents. He arrived last night and will soon begin his junior year at East High School. Wenson says after the earthquake he used a pick ax to break apart the cement walls of the house that had trapped Christa. Christa’s brother Julian wasn’t injured in the earthquake, but Christa’s leg was crushed. Her mom Terry says it was terrifying not knowing what was happening with her children.

Christa was eventually evacuated to Miami, where her lower leg had to be amputated.  It took many months for the Brelsford family to arrange for Wenson’s student visa. Taylor Brelsford says the logistics were daunting. The family originally hoped he could go to school in Pennsylvania, where there is a larger Haitian community. When that didn’t work, Taylor says they began thinking about a plan b.

Taylor says the family believes in the basic goodness and compassion in people and the last year has strengthened that. Now they are giving back. And he says despite the struggles ahead for Haiti, he is hopeful.

Wenson plans to finish high school in the U.S. and then go onto college. He eventually will have to return to Haiti. But right now, he’s focused on learning English and is not too concerned about the snow and cold.

Wenson is taking an English proficiency test Thursday and hopes to start at East High next week.

Photos and Video by Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

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