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Poole man ‘lucky to be alive’ after being shot by bandits in Haiti
A POOLE man is ‘lucky to be alive’ after he was shot by armed bandits in Haiti during a charity mission.
Richard Colbourne, 37, from Poole, was driving through a notorious slum area called Cite Soleil with his girlfriend Cari Wolsey when they spotted a man in the middle of the road pointing a gun at them.
Fearing for their lives, they both ducked below the dashboard but then spotted a second man with a gun at the roadside.
Richard said: “I started driving at the man in the road with a gun but then I heard a gunshot and couldn’t believe it.
“I felt a hot burning sensation in my leg but knew I had to get out of there so I kept driving.”
The bullet had gone through Richard’s car door before hitting his leg, but he managed to drive for ten minutes until they reached the safety of his guest house.
He said: “When I got out the car I realised there was a deep gash in my leg and it was bleeding everywhere.”
He went to see a doctor and then the couple flew home the next day to their home in Canada.
Richard said: “I feel like it was a near death experience and that I was really lucky that there wasn’t more damage.
“It certainly gives you a new outlook on life.”
He added that his was a relatively unusual experience in Haiti: “I don’t want to paint Haiti in a bad way because the country is beautiful and has wonderful people.
“We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Richard and Cari were in Haiti working for their non-profit organisation, SEED (Sustainable Education and Employment Development), which helps provide children’s schooling.
His father Tom Colbourne, of Poole, said: “Richard dedicates most of his time to charitable causes in Haiti so it’s a real pity that this is the recognition he gets. But I am sure this won’t deter him from his work and, above all, I am really pleased that he is safe and well.”
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