Marie Eunide Colo and family

Like many Haitians who suffered in the 2010 earthquake, Marie Eunide Colo tells her story of survival with quiet grace and stunning resilience.

In January 2010, she was three months pregnant with her first child, Marvenson Depal. She and her husband, Obenson Depal, were living with Marie’s mother at the time, about 10 kilometers from Santo, when the historic earthquake struck.

“Blocks fell on me,” she says quietly. “And when I went to the hospital, they told me the baby was damaged.”

She was transferred to a hospital in the Dominican Republic, where Marvenson was born in the summer of 2010. The baby had suffered irreparable damage to one arm, so doctors were forced to amputate it just below the shoulder.

The boy, now 2, suffered some brain damage as well, his mother says, along with other health issues that are only becoming evident as he gets older. In August, Marie and her husband had a new baby boy, Meiderson.

“The hardest part of living in this tent is when it rains,” Marie says. “Sometimes when I went to the doctor, the baby’s heart was beating faster than normal because of the heat and the stress of living here.”

Before the earthquake, Marie’s husband earned a living as a mason. But he has not been able to find work since.

“Sometimes my mother and father help us with food,” she says. “My husband will find one or two days of work at a time. He does whatever he can.”

Having a decent house will improve the family’s life and prospects, Marie says, and make the future brighter for their children.

“I will be very happy to meet the volunteers,” she says. “You see the condition we are living in here. It means so much to have their help.

“I feel good,” she adds. “I feel like I already own the house, even though the key is not in my hand yet. And you all are part of my family now.”