I had earlier commented that no one starved to death in New Orleans in the few days it took to get substantial outside help. Well, Friday further proof of my point was provided by the rescue of 76-year old Gerald Martin who had spent 18 days trapped in his attic with no food and a small supply of water that ran out several days earlier. So, to repeat, no person in normal health died of starvation or dehydration in New Orleans, not even a 76 year old man who was just rescued Friday. My guess as far as those bodies in the convention center? Given the stories of gang rapes and other lawlessness, I imagine that at least a few of them were thugs beaten to death by the crowd.
Day after day, for more than two weeks, the 76-year-old man sat trapped and alone in his attic, sipping from a dwindling supply of water until it ran out. No food. No way out of a house ringed by foul floodwaters.
Without ever leaving home, Gerald Martin lived out one of the most remarkable survival stories of Hurricane Katrina. Rescuers who found him Friday, as they searched his neighborhood by boat, were astounded at his good spirits and resiliency after 18 days without food or human contact.