Image: Sarlah Chand and rescue workers
Joe Raedle  /  Getty Images
Sarla Chand, 65, eats a biscuit and smiles at rescue workers after they pulled her from the rubble of the Hotel Montana. staff and news service reports
updated 1/15/2010 7:59:28 PM ET 2010-01-16T00:59:28

A North Carolina man and a New Jersey woman were among those rescued from the rubble of the Hotel Montana in Haiti’s capital city more than two days after Tuesday’s devastating earthquake.

A day after French, Spanish and U.S. teams dug out Sarla Chand, a 65-year-old aid worker from Teaneck, N.J., rescuers freed Rev. Sam Dixon, of Roanoke Rapids, N. C., on Friday.

"I, being raised a Christian, do believe that is something we would call a miracle," one of his daughters, Christy Dixon, told by phone from Swansboro, N.C. "We believe our prayers have been answered."

“I’m just thrilled,” Dixon's wife, Cindy, told The Daily Herald of Roanoke Rapids. “This is more than I ever dreamed possible. We are thanking the Lord because we are so blessed!”

Christy Dixon said her father, who is deputy general secretary of United Methodist Committee on Relief, a U.S.-based humanitarian organization, sustained leg and ankle injuries, the extent of which wasn't immediately known.

Sam Dixon and two of his colleagues from UMCOR had just been dropped off at Hotel Montana for dinner on Tuesday when the quake struck, trapping them in a pile of rubble.

One of Dixon's colleagues was freed earlier Thursday and crews were working Friday to free the other.

'Dumb luck'
Chand was freed Thursday more than 50 hours after the quake struck. A photo shows her snacking on a biscuit and smiling at rescue workers.

According to, Chand told her son, Shiraz Lall, that she was able to move around under the remnants of the hotel, searching on her hands and knees for an escape route.

"I really think it's dumb luck that they found her," Lall said.

Others were trapped with Chand, the Web site reported, including her boss, Richard Santos, who distributed Motrin pills to the injured.

"That was the only painkiller they had; some people had broken legs and feet," Lall told

Chand is a vice president with IMA World Health, a nonprofit organization providing health care services and supplies to vulnerable people. She was reportedly at the hotel for a meeting.

She is the co-author of a textbook for mission study, "Global Health and Christian Response-ability," according to the Associated Press.

© 2013

Video: Americans await news of kin

  1. Closed captioning of: Americans await news of kin

    >>> making their lives outside. part of our time earlier today, driving around the city of port-au-prince, it's a desperate search. it's going on everywhere there is wreckage from a structure. you don't see helmets with flashlights on the top. you don't see search teams in most places. you don't see a single search dog . no heavy equipment. that isn't happening yet. certainly across a wide basis here. the desperate search is going on in the united states in so many households from a college in the united states to individuals. they want to find out details of loved ones who are here with no power, no communication structure. that story tonight from nbc's mark potter .

    >> reporter: aboard a private plane, the eight survivors from lynn university arrived in ft. lauderdale, four fellow students and two faculty members still unaccounted for. a rescue team hired by the school is searching the rubble at the montana hotel in port-au-prince, where the students and staff were staying when the earthquake struck.

    >> i just remember it shaking. it was like a bomb going off or something, and then the ground just dropped and i hit the floor and covered my head.

    >> reporter: fuelling hope for those awaiting news, christy woolly from colorado springs , just learned her husband dan had just been rescued from an elevator shaft at the hotel.

    >> i thought last night he probably died. i didn't think he could survive three days buried in rubble, but he can. here's his picture and he's coming home.

    >> reporter: but in too many cases, the news isn't good. army colonel chris thomas being treated in miami for injuries at the montana, fears a good friend was lost there. is he under the rubble?

    >> yes, sir. i think so. major ken borlan, a major in the air force .

    >> reporter: kathleen and ken are waiting nervously for word of the haitian child they are adopting. they know he survived, but fear for his security, joining thousands of other americans worried about loved ones or friends in haiti. mark potter , nbc news, miami.

    >>> and it goes on and


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