PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A 16-year-old girl pulled from the rubble more than two weeks after a deadly earthquake was in stable condition Thursday, able to eat yogurt and mashed vegetables to the surprise of doctors, who said her survival was medically inexplicable.
Wednesday's rescue of teenager Darlene Etienne from a collapsed home near St. Gerard University, 15 days after Haiti's great quake killed an estimated 200,000 people, was the first such recovery since Saturday, when French rescuers extricated a man from the ruins of a hotel grocery store.
Etienne is stable, drinking water and eating yogurt and mashed vegetables, said Dr. Evelyne Lambert, who has been treating the girl on the French Navy hospital ship Sirocco, anchored off the shore of Port-au-Prince.
Lambert said that Etienne has a 90 percent chance of survival.
"We cannot really explain this because that's just (against) biological facts," Lambert told a news conference. "We are very surprised by the fact that she's alive. ... She's saying that she has been under the ground since the very beginning on the 12th of January so it may have really happened — but we cannot explain that."
Etienne may have had some access to water from a bathroom of the wrecked house, and rescuers said she mumbled something about having a little Coca-Cola with her in the rubble.
Experts say it's unclear how long people can survive with little or no water.