BOWIE, Md.- On Saturday, family members of employees at the U.S. Embassy in Haiti were encouraged to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Matthew.
Wednesday, we caught up with a young man whose mother decided it was best for him to leave her behind. The first time Brandon Driscoll spoke to his mother, an employee for the U.S. Department of State, he was relieved.
"I've talked to her every day since the events happened and she says she's fine," Driscoll said.
The 22-year-old has lived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with his mother the last few months. She is there for work. He was there for an internship with the U.S. Embassy.
On Saturday, Driscoll and other embassy families were warned about an evacuation that could happen at any moment; the next morning it did. Driscoll boarded a plane. His mother stayed behind.
"In my mind, I didn't think it was going to be as bad as it was," Driscoll said.
"I didn't have time to process the fact that I was leaving my mother in a hurricane until I got here."
Driscoll said he felt he should have stayed, but his mother is a strong woman and so is her concrete home on the compound where she lives.
Hurricane Matthew was a Category 4 storm, one that whipped up heavy winds and caused severe flash floods. The storm is blamed for 11 deaths so far.
"How's everything, are you okay?" said Driscoll on the phone to a friend named Arnold, who lives in Haiti.
"Yeah I'm ok," Arnold said.
Though, much of the island suffered heavy damage from the storm.
"I know how the Haitian people are, they're really strong people," Driscoll said.
"They overcome adversity, it's what they're about in daily life."
This Saturday, a fundraiser will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Havre de Grace Haitian Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Rockville, MD which is located at the Chapel of the United Methodist Church building. The address is 112 West Montgomery Avenue in Rockville. Proceeds will go to the Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) which is already on the ground in Haiti.
WUSA9 also reached out to Haiti's Embassy. Assistant to the Ambassador, Naomie Pierre-Louis told WUSA9:
The Embassy would like to thank all of those who have called and reached out to offer their assistance during this time. We are committed to working alongside the Diaspora community from every sector to respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, as well as friends of Haiti. While the Embassy is not collecting donations, we have partnered with the Haiti Renewal Alliance (HRA) which is currently the epicenter in the DMV metropolitan area coordinating all of the response efforts. We are hoping for the best and preparing on our end.