Engineering Student who Nearly Died in Haiti Earthquake, Graduates Community College

New York
30 May 2014

A miracle story continues—Scientology Volunteer Minister Ayal Lindeman proudly looked on as Ralph Mary Gedeon graduated community college May 18, 2014.

Ralph Gedeon (center) as filmed by Channel 12 News, Westchester, New York, graduating from Rockland County Community College. In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in February 2010, Scientology Volunteer Minister Ayal Lindeman (in the yellow jacket) and Ralph Gedeon, waited to board the ambulance flight that would bring Gedeon to the U.S. to save his life.

It’s a miracle that Ralph Mary Gedeon was able to walk onto the stage at Rockland Community College May 18 to accept his diploma—a miracle that began four years ago in the rubble of Port-au-Prince.

Gedeon, 26, who graduated with honors in science and pre-engineering, credits Scientology Volunteer Minister Ayal Lindeman for his being alive today.

Gedeon was in class on January 12, 2010, when the Haiti earthquake struck and his school collapsed, burying him alive.

Half-conscious, he was dreaming that his father had come to take him to heaven. Gedeon called out “Father, father—I am here!” just as his father, desperately searching through the wreckage of the school, was standing over the spot where Gedeon was trapped.

By the time his father dug him out, two days had passed. And when they finally found a hospital that could admit him, Gedeon was nearly dead. Infection from his crushed leg was spreading throughout his body. The only chance he had was amputation, and even that might not save his life.

Gedeon refused the operation. He knew as an amputee in Haiti he would never be able to find work or return to school. He would be a burden to his mother and father the rest of his life.

Ayal Lindeman is a Scientology Volunteer Minister and a licensed practical nurse. He had flown to Haiti aboard a Scientology-sponsored charter flight that brought doctors, nurses, emergency response specialists, supplies and support personnel to the country. When Lindeman heard Gedeon’s story, he was unwilling to just stand by and let the young man die.

“Ralph was in very serious medical condition and was in need of a certain level of continuity of care that couldn’t be provided in Haiti,” he says.

He convinced Gedeon to have the operation. “I promised Ralph if he underwent the amputation, I would personally ensure he would not only be able to walk, he would even play soccer again,” says Lindeman, who arranged for a friend, an orthopedic surgeon in New Haven, Connecticut, to perform the additional surgeries Gedeon needed and fit him with a prosthetic leg. In February 2010, Lindeman flew with Gedeon to America aboard an Archangel Airborne ambulance flight to personally oversee his medical treatment.

Lindeman has sponsored Gedeon in the U.S. Now, four years later, the young man is poised to accomplish his dream of becoming an engineer so he can return to Haiti with the skills to help his country recover. He is set to enroll at State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College in the fall.

* * *

Transcending all ethnic, cultural and religious boundaries, the Volunteer Minister program is there for anyone in need of help. Volunteer Minister training is available free of charge through the Scientology Volunteer Ministers website to anyone who wishes to help others.