The Hands and Feet Project – a children's village in Haiti formed by Christian rock group Audio Adrenaline – is happy to announce that they are now nurturing a 19-day-old baby girl who survived a 28-foot drop down an outhouse toilet.
The unwanted child was born on July 8 in Cyvadier (Jacmel), Haiti, and survived the dramatic fall without a bruise or scratch.
Her heroic rescue has brought together the villagers and workers in the area who can describe the situation only as a miracle.
"I knew this child would be fine," explained Darry "DJ" Williams, an American U.N. soldier who aided in the rescue, in a statement. "After being dropped 30-feet into a pit and left for dead, and there were no bruises, no signs of trauma, and she was resting? I knew I had witnessed a miracle. Everyone involved knew it."
A teenage boy named Toussaint was the first to respond after he noticed a big difference with the baby's mother.
Toussaint knew that the mother had tried to deny being pregnant during her term, and when he saw her one day return from the bathroom with blood on her legs and a smaller stomach, he followed the trail of blood back to the outhouse.
After hearing the cry from within the outhouse toilet, he immediately contacted police and attempted to pull the baby out through a lasso he had made and when that failed, started chipping at the newly made toilet.
"Toussaint told me that the mother had dropped the newborn in the pit because she didn't want it," said Williams in a statement. "I could see that the baby was moving and knew that time was of the essence."
Williams quickly notified the Sri Lankan army (that was acting on behalf of the United Nations), which then responded by quickly dismantling a toilet two stalls down. They then lowered a soldier who brought up the baby wrapped in a towel.
After rushing to a nearby hospital that was poorly staffed, they contacted a friend of Williams that worked for the Hands and Feet Project, Drex Stuart, who took the baby to their private hospital.
The group is covering the entire medical expenses and after an inspection, doctors announced that the baby was doing just fine.
"I am so amazed by the story of these rescuers," said Mark Stuart, Drex Stuart's son and lead singer for Audio Adrenaline, in a statement. "In Haiti, children are often abandoned and orphaned, and to see the teamwork between the police and the U.N. soldiers on behalf of this one baby, it is a would-be tragedy turned to joy."
The Justice of the Peace has now officially granted full rights to the baby to the Hands and Feet Project. A policeman from the station gave the child her first name, Christela, translated to mean "Christ was there" in Creole. Her last name, Belle, takes its roots from one of Audio Adrenaline's songs "Beautiful."
"Christela is definitely a miracle child and was God's chosen vessel to bridge the gap between the U.N., police and the community," added Williams. "I am honored to have been a witness to this miracle. I am also humbled to have been asked by Drex to be her godfather."
The Hands and Feet Project was first created in 2004 by the Grammy-award winning band with the goal to help unwanted orphaned children in Haiti. They currently have about 20 children with ages ranging from 15 days to 9 years, and hope to provide shelter, education, food, and a Christian upbringing to them.
"Without programs like the Hands and Feet Project, many children like Christela would have little hope at all," concluded Mark Stuart. "Not only was this project on hand to help Christela in the early moments of her life, but it will be there for her and other orphaned children in the days and years ahead. We are hoping to help raise a generation in Haiti that will change their country so we can be out of a job and orphanages can be empty."
Christela's mother is a juvenile who had been kicked out of her home after her parents found out she was pregnant. She was sentenced to jail by a judge, but is doing fine medically.
"Keep praying that we will be here and ready to take children that no one wants or can take care of!" added Drex Stuart. "Don't forget to pray for the mother, too."