College of Medicine student learns father is OK in Haiti

After days of sleepless worry, a Penn State College of Medicine graduate student from Haiti learned Friday that her father and grandparents are alive and well.

Lynnsay Marsan, 25, a native of Port-au-Prince, had not heard from them since before a devastating earthquake struck the island nation last Tuesday. Marsan learned Thursday that her mother, sister and step-father had survived the earthquake unharmed despite the fact that their home had been destroyed. However, with no word about her father, grandfather or grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, she left Hershey Friday morning in hopes of returning to Haiti.

She made it as far as Miami, where she is now staying with her aunt. Due to travel restrictions she was unable to secure a flight to Haiti. In the meantime, she received word Friday that her missing relatives were okay.

“I have a friend in Haiti. He’s my only line of contact there at this point. I have been able to reach him on his Blackberry,” said Marsan. “I had him call someone who lives in my father’s neighborhood and he was able to locate them. They were staying in a neighbor’s house.”

Marsan still has not spoken with her father, Schiller, whom she said is a practicing physician occupied with helping to treat the ill and injured in the quake’s aftermath. She remained at her aunt’s Florida home as of Monday evening and said she is torn between returning to Hershey and continuing her efforts to gain entry to her home country.

“I’m still very concerned about hunger and water and the well-being of my family,” she said. “My mother is telling me not to come back because the conditions are so horrible.”

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Last Updated January 20, 2010