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Miracle man pulled from rubbleexpected to make full recovery

A man pulled from the rubble of his bedroom a staggering 10 days after the Haiti earthquake recounted his ordeal from his hospital bed today.

Severely-dehydrated Emmannuel Buso (21) who was rescued by an Israeli search team in the capital Port-au-Prince, was so pale, his mother initially thought he was dead.

But doctors at an Israeli Defence Force field hospital near Haiti's main airport said Mr Buso was expected to make a full recovery.

Mr Buso said he survived by drinking his own urine and spent most of his time under the debris in a listless daze, at times dreaming of his mother and believing that he had, in fact, died.

"I am here today because God wants it," he said.

The Israeli team is one of a number of rescue groups that have been searching countless destroyed buildings in the tropical heat following the 7.0-magnitude quake on January 12.

Major Amir Ben David, the head of the Israeli search-and-rescue team, said he had never seen anyone survive as long as Mr Buso under such circumstances and that the rescue was a reminder of the importance of continuing their efforts.

"This has given us a lot of hope that we can find more people," Maj Ben David said. "We will keep going until the end of our mission."

The Israeli team has found four people alive and its field hospital has treated more than 500 people, delivering 14 babies.

A video of Mr Buso's rescue shows rescue workers pulling him, shirtless and covered in dust, from a crevasse in the wreckage of his family's two-storey home in the Bel-Air section of the city. "Way to go," one of the rescuers yells in Hebrew.

Israeli searchers who had been going through Port-au-Prince asking people if they knew of anyone who might be trapped encountered Mr Buso's relatives, who thought he might still be alive.

They pulled away some debris, called out to him and, to everyone's surprise, he responded.

Mr Buso, a student and tailor, said he had just come out of the shower when the quake hit.

"I felt the house dancing around me," he said from his bed, covered by a reflective heat blanket in the hospital field tent. "I didn't know if I was up or down."

He passed out and lay in a daze, dreaming at times that he could hear his mother crying.

The furniture in his room had collapsed around him in such a way that it created a small space for him amid the ruins of the house. He had no food. When he got desperately thirsty, he drank his urine.



scared

"I was very scared," he said. "My heart was jumping."

Mr Buso said his mother was living in a huge encampment of refugees from the quake across from the wrecked National Palace. He plans to join her there when he is released from the hospital.

Elsewhere, an 84-year-old woman was said by relatives to have been pulled from the wreckage of her home. Doctors administering oxygen and intravenous fluids to her at the General Hospital said she was in a critical condition.

hnews@herald.ie