North Texans out of Haiti, homebound, hospital-bound

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by JASON WHITELY / WFAA-TV

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

wfaa.com

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 11:37 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 22 at 7:34 PM

DALLAS -- Just outside the Port-au-Price airport, victims overwhelmed a makeshift hospital on Thursday. Among them are two from Dallas who are injured but talking.

"Our clinic building collapsed," said Dr. Gary Fish about the charity eye clinic where he volunteered. "[It had] a concrete building and a concrete roof and it injured five of us. Some of us more severe than others."

Fish has broken ribs and his colleague, Jean Arnwine, has internal injuries.

"She's moving her hand which I didn't expect," said David Arnwine after News 8 showed him video of his wife in the makeshift hospital.

It's the first pictures he has seen of her since Tuesday's earthquake.

She's swollen, he said, but alive.

"I don't understand how they're evacuating healthy people right and left and they can't get the injured out of there," David Arnwine said.

Fish and Jean Arnwine are among 12 from Dallas' Highland Park United Methodist Church who volunteered inside a one-story eye clinic 23 miles southwest of the capital in Petit Goave when the 7.0 quake struck.

"They were trapped in the rubble for several hours," said Kim Gifford, spokeswoman from the church. "They were all working in and around the eye clinic when it collapsed. Some of them were on the outside and they had to dig out people on the inside, and for some of them it took hours to get them out."

Ken Foree, the Dallas man who started the mission, suffered a broken hand. Still, he and his wife, Lila, got to the Dominican Republic.

Gifford said a plane was en route Thursday night to pick them up there before swinging back to Florida to retrieve eight others already back in the U.S.

The exact location of Fish and Jean Arnwine remains uncertain, Gifford said.

The church had been told they were taken by a French plane to a Martinique hospital. But Thursday night, Gifford said the church was receiving conflicting reports about where they ended up.

It's hoped the 10 others return to Dallas, perhaps as early as Friday.

E-mail: jwhitely@wfaa.com

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