485-Pound Miami Woman Stranded in Haiti Headed Home

Dominique Lanoise was reunited with her family after 6 months stranded on an island

By Todd Wright
|  Friday, Jun 11, 2010  |  Updated 11:06 AM EDT
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Photos: Haiti Quake Hits Miami Community

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Haitian Woman's Family Reunion

A nearly 500-pound Miami woman was stuck in Haiti six months after the earthquake.
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Dominique Lanoise waited six months to be rescued from the Haiti earthquake, but her situation was quite unique.

Lanoise, who lives in Miami, weighs close to 500 pounds and was too large for any commercial plane to evacuate her from the island.

She arrived at Miami International Airport on Thursday morning in a Dominican air force plane used to transport military vehicles and heavy equipment.

"I am so happy to be here. I want to thank the president of the Dominican Republic and everybody for treating me so nice," Lanoise said after being reunited with her family. "I've caused enough problems."

The American citizen first went to Haiti in November to tend to her ailing mother. Then the earthquake hit Jan. 12, killing all of her family.

Lanoise's leg was injured during the natural disaster and she was loaded on a flatbed truck and taken to the Dominican Republic, where she lived for the next few months trying to find a way back to her seven children in Miami.

Commercial airlines denied the woman a ticket saying she was too large to fly internationally. Lanoise had arrived in Haiti on a private plane.

With all her family in Haiti dead, the woman was stranded and alone in a foreign country. Tragedy also struck Lanoise in Miami. While she was stuck in the Dominican Republic, her 5-year-old daughter died.

But Thursday was a time for rejoicing, her family said.

"We are so happy to have my mother back," one daughter said. "She is very loved."

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