David Loiseau hasn’t slept for 24 hours.
He said he won’t close his eyes until he makes contact with his uncle and 70-year-old grandparents, who are unaccounted for following a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday afternoon.
Loiseau’s uncle lives in Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital and one of the hardest hit areas of the poor Caribbean nation. Loiseau’s elderly grandparents live about two hours outside of Port-au-Prince. None of them have been reachable since Tuesday.
“It’s a nightmare,” Loiseau told Sherdog.com late Wednesday night. “I haven’t been able to speak to them, so I don’t know if any of them are safe. When I call, their phones don’t even ring.”
Louiseau, whose parents are Haitian, moved to Montreal as a young boy. The one-time UFC middleweight contender spent periods of his childhood in the impoverished country with relatives and has visited Port-au-Prince many times.
Reports and images from Port-au-Prince look bleak, as survivors race against time to rescue those still trapped under collapsed buildings and homes. Hospitals, office structures and the president’s palace have also been leveled, while there is no electricity or running water. Without heavy machinery accessible, many are digging through the rubble with their bare hands. Early estimates indicate the death toll could surpass 100,000 victims.
“I’m thinking of going down to help out, but they’re doesn’t seem to be any flights down there right now,” said the 30-year-old Loiseau. “They’re prioritizing help, like doctors and workers, first.”
Louiseau said some friends have been able to communicate with family using Internet social networks like Facebook and Twitter. However, Louiseau’s relatives don’t have access to a computer, he said.
“I’m reading these messages coming out of there,” he said. “People are sleeping outside in the streets. They don’t want to chance their houses falling on them in their sleep.”
Loiseau, who’s training for a Feb. 27 bout for Mixed Fight League in Montreal, said he’s praying and remaining positive as he awaits any word on his missing relatives’ health and whereabouts.
“I don’t want to sleep. I want to get the message out,” he said. “I beg you to donate as much as you can. It’s a real catastrophe what’s going on in Haiti and any penny will help. Every time a plane flies in with supplies and assistance, it costs money. That’s what the money is for. Just give. Haiti is a very poor country and they need our help.”
Ways To Donate to Haitian Relief Efforts
• Former President Bill Clinton, UN special envoy to Haiti, has set up a Web site directing donations to various relief organizations, including the American Red Cross, at https://re.clintonfoundation.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=3869
• A $10 Donation can be sent to the American Red Cross by texting ‘Haiti’ to 90999 (www.redcross.org). The donation will be charged to your cell phone bill.