A Haiti Survivor's Brave Comeback
One small step-and a new beginning for one brave young woman. On Jan. 12 Christa, 25, a graduate student from Arizona State University and a volunteer at the Cabois Literacy School in Darbonne, Haiti, struggled under the rubble of an earthquake that killed 230,000. Dug out by her brother Julian, 27, also a volunteer, and several Haitian workers at the school, including a teen whom she has since befriended, she was flown to Miami, where doctors amputated her right leg four inches below the knee. Her smile-and determination after such a loss-made headlines around the world.
Today, after four more surgeries, Christa is back to her studies and her lifelong passion-climbing. "As soon as I could, I went to the gym," says Christa, who got further encouragement at the Colorado event for disabled climbers.
Aiding her recovery: her family and fiancé Ethan Coon, 28, who popped the question in the hospital. Her new nonprofit, Christa's Angels (christasangels.org), has already raised $110,000 to rebuild the Cabois school. "She has a tenacious spirit-and she's using this opportunity to help," says pal Elizabeth Johnson. Christa wouldn't have it any other way. "I'm missing a foot," she says, "but I know I can do anything I want."