Teary eyed Megan Young during the interview after the horrific Orphanage floor collapse in Haiti:
At 14:30 on Thursday 31st October, Miss World Chairman Julia Morley and Miss World Megan Young visited an orphanage housing 78 children in Port Au Prince Haiti. The children were in their school class on the second floor of this temporary building.
Miss World Megan Young laughing with the children just moments before the collapse
When they saw Miss World in her crown around 20 children rushed toward her. As they came forward the floor collapsed. Julia and one of the children, Jonathan, suffered fractures after falling through the floor, landing 8 to 10 feet below, being hit by the debris from above. Miraculously all the other children and Miss World Megan Young escaped either unhurt or with just cuts and bruises.
The Orphanage at which the floor collapsed.
However, Julia was in agony after the fall. It was impossible to move her from the building without a stretcher and we had to wait for a few hours for medical help. Finally a temporary ambulance transferred Julia and Jonathan to a local Medishare hospital. X-Rays revealed that Julia had suffered a significant fracture high in her hip area and that Jonathan had suffered a leg fracture. The doctors repaired Jonathan’s leg fracture but felt that it was too risky to treat Julia’s injuries at the local hospital.
It was therefore decided that Julia would be airlifted to Miami to undergo immediate surgery.
Julia was therefore flown overnight by Air Ambulance from Haiti to Miami. She is currently in Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, after surgeons completed a 5 1/2 hour operation to put her hip back together.
The surgeon has said that the operation went very well. It was a much more difficult operation than the first X-ray revealed in Haiti. The surgeon described it as a “high impact break with a lot of soft tissue damage”. This took a lot of additional time to repair. As part of the repair they have inserted a metal plate on Julia’s hip (instead of a pin) to add more stability to the joint.
The surgeon says that she now needs rest and intensive therapy. With the length and scale of the operation, she will be here in Miami for a while before she can return to London. The good news is that with hard work over the coming week, the surgeon believes that she can make a full recovery.
Megan Young also fell through the floor but manage to land on her feet and thereby escape injury. Furthermore, despite the shock of the fall, Megan held on to her Miss World crown as the building collapsed around her. Miraculously Megan ensured that the Crown remained undamaged despite all that was going on.
Part of this incredible story was captured on film as Megan’s year is the subject of a new film documentary.
Megan is currently in the USA with members of her family. Speaking to us this afternoon she recounted what happened last Thursday.
“We went into the orphanage hoping for a good day. I was happy that day and the children we were with seemed so full of energy and joy. We get onto this second floor platform, and we aren’t even there for a minute and we hear a crack and everybody falls through.
“Nothing like that has really happened to me before. It was such a shock. I felt like a deer in the headlights. I didn’t really know what had happened or what to do. We had all fallen down, but I was still on my feet. I had the crown in one hand and the other hand instinctively holding up one of the decks in place with two people. There were lots of kids under the decks still and we just instinctively held on. it was such a scary situation for me. it makes you realise there is so much more that should be done for these kids. it’s not the only orphanage out here in Port au Prince, and I am sure others are in a similar state.”
“We just hope that Julia recovers from it as quickly as possibly and dear Jonathan. My thoughts are with them at this time. It was a real eye opener and just shows how much work needs to be done in Haiti. I want to go back and continue with the work that we have started, and make sure nothing like this can happen again.”
Speaking from Jackson Memorial Hospital earlier today, Julia Morley described her experience.
“I heard a loud crack and then the floor started to slide. My first thought was for the children and Megan. As I fell through, I remember catching some of the younger kids and breaking their fall. I landed on my feet but with the extra weight of the kids I fell back. Then came the intense pain and I knew something was seriously wrong.
“I was so relieved that nearly everyone escaped unhurt. I stayed with poor Jonathan in the hospital. He was in the bed next to me and we cuddled each other while waiting for our X-Rays. I am glad to say that his leg has now been set and he will recover quickly.
“I will return to Haiti as soon as I am well enough. There is a lot of work still to do. I want to go back and see the kids and to check on Jonathan’s progress. This terrible accident highlights the continued need to provide a safe environment for these young kids. Many of them were themselves orphaned as a result of buildings collapsing during the terrible earthquake of 2010.”