University of Miami doctors working in Haiti are treating a man who, according to two other Haitians, had been trapped by debris since the Jan. 12 earthquake — but he may have been provided food and water during his reported ordeal.
The two Haitians' account could not be confirmed by doctors at a university field hospital or at a Salvation Army medical center in Port-au-Prince where the man, emaciated and suffering from dehydration, was first brought by the two men on Monday.
Nery Ynclan, a University of Miami media officer in Haiti, said the patient was in stable condition Tuesday and being treated for dehydration and malnutrition. The man identified himself as Evans Monsigrace, 28, she said, adding that his family told doctors varying accounts of his ordeal.
The man has normal kidney function, suggesting he had food and water at least for a week if he was trapped Jan. 12, Ynclan said.
"Someone could not survive 28 days without water," she said. "You can go nine weeks without food."
"He came in delirious, asking to die," Ynclan added, saying Creole translators were at the field hospital.
"He's still out of it. He answers basic questions," she said, adding that he is nibbling on chocolate and probably will be at the field hospital for a week.
A videotape shot by Michael Andrew, an Arizona-based freelance photographer and a volunteer at the Salvation Army medical center, shows doctors on Monday trying without success to insert a needle into the man's arm to give him fluid. Doctors there then referred the man to the field hospital at the airport, Andrew told The Associated Press.
Andrew said the man was delirious and identified himself through an interpreter as Evans Muncie. The Salvation Army, in a brief posting on its Web site, identified him Tuesday as Evan Ocinia.
The Salvation Army posting says two men, whom it didn't identify, found the patient in the debris of a market Monday, 28 days after the quake.
But Andrew said Tuesday that it wasn't clear whether other people had provided food and water to the man and that many details of the case had yet to be learned.
It also wasn't known why teams of international search and rescue workers were not alerted to the man's reported circumstances in the market.
The Haiti quake killed 230,000 people, the Haitian government said Tuesday.
The last confirmed survivor found in Haiti was a 16-year-old girl discovered in rubble 15 days after the quake. Doctors said at the time that disaster survivors may be able to sustain themselves with a water supply and without medical attention for up to two weeks.
In 1995, a 19-year-old sales clerk survived 16 days under a collapsed shopping mall in Seoul, South Korea.