Everett High senior Ricky Thurin said he cried “tears of joy” after learning Monday night that his mother was alive and well in Haiti.
It had been an emotionally draining week for Thurin who had been unable to make communications with his mother since the devastating earthquake struck Haiti last Tuesday.
But Thurin said he received a phone call from his older sister, Manou Manouche, who told him that she had spoken with their mother and she was in a safe location outside of Port-au-Prince and in good spirits and good health.
“There were a lot of tears of joy when I found out my mother was fine and perfect,” said Thurin. “I was just crying and just too excited. There was no more stress. I wasn’t worried about it. I wasn’t depressed any more. I could be the old me again so I’m very happy.”
Thurin was told his mother had been trying to get in touch with him since the earthquake. “My mother tried calling home but the phone lines weren’t working,” he said. “She went to a different city and then was able to make contact with my sister.”
Ricky’s mother was leaving Port-au-Prince just as the earthquake hit the city. “She was away from Port-au-Prince. She was on a highway and not in the impact area when the earthquake was happening.”
Thurin had tried to go about his regular activities since the earthquake. A co-captain of the EHS basketball team, Thurin did suit up for the Crimson Tide’s game against Classical Sunday afternoon. But in an interview after the game, Thurin told the Everett Independent that his focus was on his mother’s situation in Haiti and the ongoing efforts to locate her.
In the days following the earthquake, Thurin attempted to contact his mother and Haitian officials with the assistance of EHS guidance counselor Michael Engel and Principal Lou Baldi. Thurin’s friends and teammates also supported him during a period of personal anxiety.
“Mr. Engle and Mr. Baldi did a lot for me to cheer me up and they tried to help me with my situation,” said Thurin. “Everybody in this building supported me and helped me, so I say thank you to them.”
Baldi said he was overwhelmed after hearing the news that Thurin’s mother was safe. “That’s fantastic. Ricky is such a great kid and like I was telling him, it’s easy to say that everything is going to be OK, but until you’ve experienced it, you just don’t know what anybody is feeling. But obviously you can see how elated he is and we, as a school, are for him. I’m just pleased that he’s pleased with the support he received from the school and everything we could do for him, we did.”