The Impossible, released in 2012, is a movie based on the real-life events that took place during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, but the family whose story is depicted is also a real family. The Belon – Alvarez family was in Thailand for their Christmas Holidays, on December 26, 2004, when the unfortunate event took place. Read on to know more about the family and their story.
Stage 4, Day 40/42: I will do this every day for the Stage 4 Lockdown that Melbourne has been placed under to remind myself that the next 42 days of will not be as hard as what others have had to endure. These are people who have faced and fought real adversity.// Maria Belon is a Spanish physician and motivational speaker known for surviving the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami when she was on vacation in Thailand with her husbane Enqrique and their three sons. On December 26, 2004, Belon was poolside while her husband and three sons were splashing in the pool before the family was swept apart by the tsunami. After the wave hit, she was able to grab hold of a tree. While hanging, she noticed her son Lucas (10) being dragged by the current. She swam after him, but a large wave occured, dragging her through rubble and hard objects and she was critically wounded. After the tsunami calmed, Belon was able to reach land with Lucas. Her right leg was severely damaged. They took refuge in another tree before being rescued by locals from a nearby village. They were taken to a local hospital and were eventually reunited with her husband and their other two sons. Belón now travels around the world as an advocate for survivors of the tsunami and gives motivational speeches about how she overcame the turmoil and two years of recovery following her injuries. She studied to be a physician and also previously worked as a professor of management with the ESADE Business School, and as a business consultant for companies like Pepsi. She has said of her experience- The tsunami was an incredible gift. I embrace life. My whole life is extra time. There is no difference between me—a Spanish woman named María who is alive—and thousands of moms who are under the sea. I do not deserve to be alive, but life is not fair. I feel pain and compassion for so many others who didn't come back up or lost the ones they love. My whole story is on my body. And it is wonderful because it means I am alive #melbourneisolation #melbournestage4 #melbourne #positivity #melbisoseries #mariabelon
Maria Belon and Enrique Alvarez with their three kids were staying at the Orchid Resort Hotel in Thailand, on December 26, 2005. Belon, who is a doctor, was reading a book at the poolside as she saw her kids and their father have a fun time in the water. She said in a 2017 interview with Mirror that while she was facing the sea and saw a huge black wall and she did not think it was the see; it was like a black wall was coming to get her and the others. And within moments the hotel was swept underwater.
Maria Belon managed to stay close to her eldest son, and the two of them got through the 500 mph waves as they clung to a tree. The two were then rescued by a local Thai man and reveals that she thought that both her other children and husband were killed. However, Enrique and the two younger boys were alive and the family met sometime later at a hospital.
Maria has continued to work as a doctor while also working as an advocate for survivors who are still recovering from the disaster. Enrique works with the refugees who arrive in Greece. In an interview with People in 2013, Belon said that the family gathers at the beach on December 26, every year. She says that this is a 'commitment' that the family has made forever, 'to be close to the souls that passed away in the unfortunate event.'
All three boys have committed their lives for the service of people, with the eldest Lucas who is studying medicine at the University College in London. In 2020, he worked as a frontline worker during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thomas studied Science, Technology, and International Affairs at Georgetown University and looks after early tsunami warning systems. Simon, who is the youngest, is still in school, and both the younger children are trained as lifeguards.
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