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1 Colorado survivor of Haiti quake arrives home; still no word of 3rd man

10:31 PM, Jan 15, 2010   |    comments
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Sixty-four-year-old Jim Gulley from Frisco arrived at Denver International Airport just after 8 p.m.

"I'm lucky to be alive. It was an experience that you always think is going to happen to somebody else but never would happen to you," Gulley said.

He said he was trapped along with several other people and their rescue came in the nick of time.

"We thought, 'Thank God, we are going to be saved.' Because I'm not sure that two of our people would have made it through another night," Gulley said.

He is a missionary with United Methodist Community who was in Haiti at the time of the earthquake. Gulley had recently traveled to the Dominican Republic before driving into Haiti. He was staying outside of town but was inside the Hotel Montana for dinner when the quake hit.

Gulley's wife, Nancy, told 9NEWS earlier that her husband was found Thursday night. Nancy Gulley and her adult son Aaron Gulley spoke with Jim Gulley Thursday night and said he has minor injuries but is in good shape.

"It was good news last night. Jim called last night about 8:30 they had just gotten him out of the Hotel Montana out of the ruins he had been there for 55 hours, without any water, without any food," Nancy Gulley told 9NEWS.

Jim Gulley says he was actually there for 53 hours.

Nancy Gulley tells 9NEWS her husband was buried in a space that was 3 feet high by 5 feet wide and 8 feet long with several other people.

"They had one Tootsie Pop sucker that they passed around between some five people," she said.

In her Thursday morning interview with 9NEWS, Nancy Gulley said, "The difficult thing, and I'm sure it's with all these situations, we have gotten good news and then five hours later found that news wasn't right and then it became bad news, then it was good news, then we got bad news.

"Then we decided we wouldn't go with any news until we can verify it, so when we heard his voice it was wonderful," she said.

The Gulley family says their story is good news on a small scale but there is still a lot of work to be done.

"It's a wonderful story for us and we're so thankful he's alive and safe and not injured too badly but we have to keep in our prayers and minds all the people in Haiti that have lost loved ones, lost all their families, lost their homes," she said. "[The] so little they had has been lost and we would encourage everyone to send money for relief efforts there."

Dan Woolley, 39, of Colorado Springs, was in Haiti and also at the Hotel Montana when the quake hit. He was trapped in an elevator shaft.

Woolley's wife, Christy, and two children were anxiously awaiting word about his condition from their Colorado Springs home. Christy Woolley had spoken with her husband 20 minutes before the earthquake hit but it was a long three days before she heard word of his rescue.

"The wait has been like traveling through the gates of hell," she said. "I couldn't stand, I was afraid I couldn't keep my heart beating and I was afraid I couldn't breathe."

Christy Woolley received word about her husbands rescue Thursday night from the State Department. She said she had given up hope before the phone call.

"I thought he had probably died," she said. "I didn't think he could survive three days buried in rubble."

Christy Woolley is flying with her children to Miami where they expect to see Dan Woolley soon.

"I don't think I have the words. I think I'm just going to cry on his should and around his neck," she said as she fought back tears.

A second man was traveling with Woolley as part of Compassion International. Forty-year-old David Hames is also of Colorado Springs. He is a photographer with the Christian child advocacy ministry and was also inside the Hotel Montana went the earthquake hit.

Conflicting reports have been received about his whereabouts and whether or not he has been rescued. 9NEWS will provide updates on Hames as they become available.

Find out ways to help Haiti earthquake victims here.

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