Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Sony Jacques prepares to practice walking on his prosthetic leg. When he first lost his limb, he sank into an abyss of depression.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Sony grew to become one of the most respected men in his neighborhood.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Sony must walk sideways through the hallway of his new home to pass his wife and grandchild sitting along the wall near the front door. The new home is modest compared with the previous one, in which he invested 20-plus years of work and resources.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Sony Jacques and son Robenson leave the school that became the family’s shelter. On the day of the Jan. 12 quake, Robenson was taking an exam at the business school paid for with his father’s meager savings.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Sony Jacques spent his life climbing slowly into the middle class, eventually building a home that was the nicest on his street. He loved the view from the top floor, where the breezes swirled.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Sony Jacques borrowed from friends and family to get the scraps of lumber and tin to build a new home.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

The hustle and bustle of neighbors and workers liven up the hill of rubble leading from Sony's front door to his lottery ticket stand.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Sony makes his way home from work.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

A girl runs past the space where Sony Jacques' home once stood. "In this country, you have two feet and you're not living well in it," Sony said. "Come to see you lost a leg and it's going to become harder for you to live in this country -- in Haiti."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Robenson Jacques in the Haitian neighborhood of Fort National, where families struggle to rebuild after the January earthquake. In an area where gangs and crime lure many boys, Robenson's dad showed him the right way.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Sony Jacques opened a new lotto stand in a shack directly across from where his home and previous business crumbled.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Inside the lottery ticket stand.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Sony sits with other patients after a physical therapy session. After the quake, he was transferred to a U.S. medical ship anchored offshore, but infection had already set in, and his leg couldn't be saved.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Sony winces during physical therapy.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Robenson waits for Sony to receive a new bandage for his amputated leg. In the days after his father was rescued from beneath his crumpled shop, it startled Robenson to see him so helpless.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Sony listens to the radio. It gives him information he can't get as he is no longer on the streets and privy to the news, he says.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

Sony rises from the tarp-covered waiting area when his name is called for his physical therapy session.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIZ O. BAYLEN / Los Angeles Times

More galleries on Framework

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Photos: Rebuilding in his father's footsteps

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Photos: Rebuilding in his father's footsteps

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Photos: Rebuilding in his father’s footsteps

When the devastating earthquake hit Haiti on Jan. 12, Robenson Jacques rushed home to make sure his family was safe, and to see what his father, Sony, had to say. “Sony’s dead” were the first words his mother said. But Robenson, 33, soon heard his dad’s voice beneath the rubble. He felt he owed the world to him, and he knew his father’s fate was in his hands now. Times staff writer Joe Mozingo and staff photographer Liz O. Baylen traveled to Haiti in March, April and July to report this story. See Baylen’s photos in the gallery above. Watch Baylen’s video here. Read the full story, “Strength of a higher magnitude.”

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