Highland Park missionary dies from Haiti quake injuries

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by JANET ST. JAMES / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 5:17 AM

HIGHLAND PARK — A member of the Highland Park United Methodist Church mission team has now died of injuries suffered in the massive Haiti earthquake.

Jean Arnwine had been airlifted out of Haiti on Thursday along with another member of the team, Dr. Gary Fish.

They were being flown to the island of Martinique for treatment when Arnwine took a serious turn for the worse, according to church sources. Their plane made an unscheduled landing on the French island of Guadalupe, southeast of Haiti off the northern coast of Venezuela for emergency surgery.

Dr. Fish confirmed that Arnwine had suffered internal injuries in the earthquake. She had gone without medical treatment or diagnosis for three days before being airlifted.

At a news conference in Highland Park on Friday afternoon, three of the missionaries who returned home recounted their dramatic stories.

"We were walking back on the road to the guest house when the earthquake hit, and it knocked us to the ground," said Katy Langley.  "The road in front of us was wobbling ... all of us thought there had been some type of an explosion."

Langley said she immediately sent a text message to her father in the United States to let him know that help was needed.

By Tuesday night, as conditions rapidly deteriorated, "we were kind of in survival mode."

Alex Paz said the aftershocks were frightening. "We never knew when this was going to stop; we never knew if there was going to be another one. The tremors were strong," she said, adding: "I would never want to experience that ever again."

Here is an update on their status of the ten church members who have returned home:

  • Dr. Kenneth Foree - home, injuries to hand
  • Nancy Rice - home, back injuries
  • Lila Foree - home
  • Dr. James Lehmann - home
  • Alex Paz - home
  • Marilyn French - home
  • Katy Langley - home
  • Claire Miertschin - home
  • Karen Gardner - home
  • Joel Fish - home

Dr. Gary Fish remained in Guadelupe, suffering from what may be broken ribs.

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