Windsor-born woman is recovering with only minor scrapes after she was miraculously rescued from a collapsed house in Haiti.
Danielle Trepanier, 35, spent almost 24 hours underneath the debris of a building that was destroyed by the earthquake on Tuesday.
"We could've lost her there," said Emerence Trepanier, Danielle's mother, who lives in Stoney Point.
Emerence credited Danielle's safety to "the power of prayer.... Everybody was praying. My parish, my community, friends. Even strangers."
Danielle was in Haiti as a logistics administrator for the aid organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).
According to MSF, Danielle was resting on the second floor of a staff house in Port-au-Prince when the quake hit.
Two other MSF members on the ground floor managed to escape before the building came down, but Danielle fell through two floors and ended up in a small space in the basement.
"She was buried under quite a bit of rubble," said MSF spokesman Jake Wadland.
Wadland said MSF members could hear Danielle's intermittent cries for help.
"They risked their own safety to dig her out," he said.
Word that Danielle was trapped came to her mother late Tuesday night, leading to some very tense hours.
Emerence said MSF provided the family with updates, informing them on Wednesday morning that Danielle was still alive and her voice could be heard.
The rescuers found and freed her on Wednesday afternoon. "Danielle's fine. She has some cuts and bruises, but she's OK," Wadland said.
"She called us when she came out," Emerence said. "She sounded OK. We're very thankful."
At press time, Haitian officials were estimating the death toll from the quake as high as 200,000.
Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime said about 50,000 bodies have been collected so far, and he anticipates between 100,000 and 200,000 total dead -- "although we will never know the exact number."
Danielle is the youngest of four daughters.
A professional logistician, her resume includes project management in northern Canadian aboriginal communities.
Wadland said Danielle first went to Haiti last July, but she's worked with MSF since 2005. Her previous field assignments for the organization have included Niger, southern Sudan and Burundi.
Wadland said Danielle is still in Port-au-Prince, at a safe location. "The plan is to get her back to Canada as soon as possible," he said.
But Wadland wasn't sure when that will happen. "The airspace over Haiti is quite crowded at the moment. It's very difficult to get planes in or out of the country. Our top priority is to get her home and back to her family," he said.
That's good news for Emerence, who described Danielle as travelling all over the world throughout her adult life.
"She studied in Sweden. She's been to Georgia (Russia). She's been to South America.... It's like owning a butterfly."
Asked why she thinks her daughter feels compelled to assist humanitarian efforts in places so far from their Stoney Point home, Emerence said she doesn't know.
"It's an admirable thing to do," she said about Danielle's work.
MSF describes itself as the world's leading independent international medical relief organization, seeking to alleviate human suffering, to protect life and health and to restore and ensure respect for human beings and their fundamental rights.