There’s an incredible story making the rounds on Facebook and elsewhere about a Montreal programmer named Houssam Hammoudi who rushed off to the Philippines in the early days after Typhoon Yolanda hit to find his internet girlfriend Grace Acojedo, whom he knew to be in harms way in Ormoc, Leyte. He’s Canadian, she’s Filipino, he’s Muslim, she’s Christian, and they’d never met — int was strictly ‘online-lang’ until the typhoon hit. What happened when he made it to the Philippines, and how the story has ended, will reaffirm your believe in humanity–how love carried the day, and how the internet came together to get one person the help she needed. There are many, many other stories that don’t have this kind of a happy ending, but a lot of people are finding a lot of comfort in this.
After chasing the story for awhile, I have finally been able to track it back to its actual source — a Tumbler blog called Operation Saving Grace that some friends of Grace started. But the story is now out there everywhere — from Yahoo News to Huffington post.
Here’s what happened.
Houssam Hammoudi of Montreal knew that his fiancée, Grace Acojedo, Visayas city of Ormoc directly i the path of Typhoon Yolanda. Like all of us who had family members of loved ones in the path of Yolanda — the days after the typhoon were unbearable. No communication was getting out. sSo Houssam set out on a journey to find Grace. Getting all the way to Ormoc was a challenge in itself, but he made it. He found his way to Grace’s home and found it in ruins. But he found Grace at a clinic — she had survived when the house collapsed around her, but with injuries, severe ones that needed attention.
(Here is a video of when he found her . . . as of now it’s only been viewed 1,500 times even though this story is all over the internet, so my sleuthing has yielded something that not everyone has seen.)
He managed to get the Philippine Coast Guard to ferry them from Ormoc to Cebu, where Grace was hospitalized. They learned that she would need multiple surgeries, including a probable amputation.
They’re still in the hospital, and have been posting to “Operation Saving Grace”. Netizens have been contributing to pay for her medical expenses.
The best part?
Hammoudi and Grace Acojodo, 23, were married Saturday in her hospital bed in Cebu.
Please visit Operation Saving Grace and get the whole story — you can help…..
Here’s the way the story is being told among Filipinos on Facebook.