Houssam Hammoudi's fiancée, Grace Acojedo, was with her family in the Filipino city of Ormac when the area was hit by the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.
When the winds died down, Houssam was unable to reach Grace.
Worried about her condition, he traveled from Montreal to an island near Ormac, then took a ferry to the storm-ravaged city.
Houssam found Grace's family's home — it had been completely destroyed. The roof had caved in during the storm, crushing Grace.
"The ceiling fell off on her. That's where she got her upper body wounds. And lots of shattered glass in her face," he told Global News.
Fortunately, Grace survived the ordeal and was being treated for her injuries at a nearby clinic that was overcrowded with storm victims.
Grace's injuries included cuts on her face, critical eye trauma, a fractured jaw and a broken ulna and wrist. An infection in her leg put her at risk of losing it.
Thanks to a compassionate coast guard lieutenant, the couple was ferried to a nearby city, where Grace could get more extensive medical treatment, something Houssam and his future wife must pay for out-of-pocket.
"I don’t know until now how I made it out of Ormoc with her, I still cannot believe it. I realized that no matter what I could do, nothing would have prepared me for this, it was more like special forces situation. If I waited only few days, she could lose her leg," he wrote on his tumblr account Operation Saving Grace, where he is documenting his efforts to bring Grace home.
Houssam is raising money to cover Grace's medical bills through PayPal.
"Grace was touched by your continuous support and she would like to personally thank you! She is still not able to speak correctly but she is getting better thanks to you," he updated his followers.