A man is buried to his neck at the bottom of a 15-foot hole as a result of an earthquake. He is not seriously hurt in the initial collapse of earth that surrounds him. But every time his lungs expand, then contract, more dirt fills in around him, tightening around his stocky frame ”like a slowly coiling boa constrictor,” a newspaper reports. It is a race against time, but after eight hours the rescuers lift him to safety although he is nearly buried alive three times during the emotionally wrenching effort.
Afterward, you interview the man and ask him what was going on in his mind all the while. You want to know what kept him going. This is what he answers: