January 21, 2010
Statement from Jamie & Ali McMutrie and the McMutrie family:
We are so grateful to be home. We have many people to thank for their support and their efforts in our rescue and, more importantly, the rescue of the children. Please forgive us if we forget any names, but the numbers are too great. We’re sure that many of the individuals and organizations involved will give their own acknowledgments, which we hope will fill any gaps.
In government, our deepest thanks to Governor Edward G. Rendell and Representative Jason Altmire, whose efforts in Haiti were truly heroic. We feel that if they had not been on that flight, none of the kids would have made it home. We also thank the U.S. Military, who were able to save these children, without hindering the flow of aid coming in. Thanks, too, to Senators Casey and Specter, Representative Doyle, and Chief Executive Onorato for their powerful contributions here at home. For transportation, in addition to the U.S. military, we thank Republic Airlines and US Airways for going doing everything to ensure our comfort and safety.
Our thanks to UPMC, including Leslie McCombs, and Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, especially Dr. Mary Carrasco and her skilled, caring medical team who were on the trip to Haiti. For the children’s care here in Pittsburgh we thank UPMC Children’s Hospital, their doctors and nursing staff, and the remarkable volunteers of the American Red Cross and Catholic Charities, who gave individual attention to each child, making sure they were happy, entertained, and loved. Giant Eagle, with the help of Kevin Srigley, contributed greatly to meeting the needs of the children at Children’s Hospital. We also thank Holy Family Institute, who are currently providing a safe, caring place for the children.
Just across the hall from the children at the hospital were offices with workers from a host of federal agencies and Allegheny County’s own Office of Children, Youth and Families. Seeing our government work together with such cooperation to quickly and accurately process the children’s paperwork was inspiring not only to us, but also to the adoptive parents who flew in from around the country.
Behind the scenes, there was a private group comprised of Mary Beth Buchanan and Valerie May of the May Law Group, who worked tirelessly on an alternative plan for our rescue, and we thank them as well.
We are convinced that our rescue would have taken much longer if not for the media spotlight that was cast on BRESMA. For this we thank Julie Talerico and Pittsburgh Magazine, which ran the original article about BRESMA in January 2009, including the photos by Laura Petrilla that captured the hearts of so many over the past days. The author of that story was Jonathan Wander, and he and Virginia Montanez of ThatsChurch.com have become trusted family friends. Their sharing of the story online and keeping people updated showed the positive power of the internet. Thousands of you responded by getting involved, contacting your representatives, generously donating, soliciting help, and relaying directions to our location so we could get supplies from brave people who took great personal risk to reach us.
Although we are happy to be home with our family and friends, and happy to have the children safe, our hearts are still with the people and children of Haiti, and the family we left behind–the staff who valiantly stayed with us at BRESMA to care for the children until we were rescued. They are left to cope with immeasurable suffering and loss. We beg you to continue to help the people of Haiti as much as possible, and the many orphaned children in particular. Please continue to donate, and continue to encourage your Representatives and Senators to do their part in helping the Haitians recover from this devastating crisis. We promise to continue our most passionate efforts as well.
Jamie McMutrie, Ali McMutrie and the McMutrie family