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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Pleas for Medical Supplies for Amputees in Haiti; Haitian Adoptees Find Loving Parents, New Homes in U.S.; American Save After 65 Hours in Haiti; Music Megastars Helping Haiti
Aired January 30, 2010 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST (voice-over): Two weeks after the earthquake, the struggle continues. Thousands have lost limbs to injuries. We have an urgent plea for help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEATHER MILLS, CHARITY ACTIVIST & U.N. GOODWILL AMBASSADOR: Most importantly at the moment are crutches to give someone the freedom and ability and to take the pressure off the careers around them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: And the children left without parents or families. New fears in Haiti that they're the targets of child trafficking.
But there is also hope. Haitian adoptees finding their way to loving parents and new homes in the United States.
And stories of survival. An American pulled from the rubble days after the quake. How did he survive?
Plus, musical superstars, Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli, and a big announcement on what they are doing to help Haiti's victims.
It is all next on "LARRY KING LIVE."
(on camera): Thanks for joining us. It has been more than two weeks since the devastating earthquake in Haiti. As some victims begin to slowly rebuild their lives from scratch, others are still not getting basics, food, water, a roof over their heads. Medical assistance for the almost 200,000 injured still hard to come by.
Joining us now in Port-au-Prince, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent, and a practicing neurosurgeon.
What is the latest on the medical situation, Sanjay? In the early days, you painted a desperate scene. What is it like now?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT & PRACTICING NEUROSURGEON: I think in many ways it has gotten better. It's all relative, as you know, Larry. I think a couple of things have improved. We have more personnel, surgeons actually on the ground to take care of patients. We're actually -- you're looking inside on of the tents here, a lot of post-operative patients, patients that who have had operations, including amputations. They're in tents like this hospital. This is actually outside the hospital. But this ends up being a good location to try and take care of these patients. Lots of doctors. Still short of nurses, Larry, still short of physical therapists, which are going to be necessary. So there's still some work to be done.
But I have to tell you, to your point, it's a lot better than it was a few days ago. And it looks like it will be even better a few days from now.
KING: Heather Mills, an amputee herself, will be joining us in the next segment. I'm going to have her go back and forth with you.
But the amputations necessitate by the crush injuries have become the signature injury of this disaster. Have we had any sense how many amputations have taken place?
GUPTA: It is hard to know. There are so many various locations like this set up around the city and really around the country. A lot of these places are performing amputations because someone has a crush injury, and taking the arm or leg ends up being necessary. They estimate it could be 200,000 amputations. Think about that number for a second. It is staggering. 200,000 amputations necessary, possibly as a result of this earthquake. They think about 95 percent of the people who have crush injuries, again a lot of the patients in the tent behind me, 95 percent would need an amputation. So that is the reality of Haiti. That's how things have been taken care of here.
KING: Joining us now from London, Heather Mills, a charity activist, United Nations goodwill ambassador. Heather is working with Physicians for Peace. She is urging people to donate their old prosthetics to the people of Haiti. She is, as you well know, herself an amputee, having lost part of her left leg in a 1993 road accident.
Staying with us in Port-au-Prince is Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent.
Heather, you are working with Physicians for Peace. You want mobility supplies. Can people donate their old prosthetics and it will work elsewhere?
MILLS: We started this program, Larry, in '94. After I'd lost my leg, I was working in the war in the former Yugoslavia. We had to find a really quick way of getting limbs to the amputees there. We fitted up over 27,000 people with the same system.
Then, in the Indian earthquake, in Gujarat, when we set up the tents, we worked with the Lion's Club charity there. I always like to not reinvent the wheel and find out exactly which agencies, which clinicians have been working on the ground in the countries, rather than bombard and reinvent what people are doing. So Physicians for Peace have been on the ground for several years. They had a great clinic for rehabilitation and prosthetic care. And now that has been destroyed. So what I'm trying to do is appeal to people to go to the hangar clinics, and most amputees will know what that means, and contact Physicians for Peace and take back any limbs that they're not using. We can reuse the components. I used to get the prisoners in England to take them apart, put them in compartmental boxes.
And most importantly, at the moment, are crutches, to give someone the freedom and ability and to take the pressure off the careers around them, is to get around, start getting mobile before atrophy sets in.
KING: How do you know where to send them? What do you do with the limb?
MILLS: I think...
KING: If you're watching now and you want to donate, where do you send it?
MILLS: You should contact physiciansforpeace.org. That's physiciansforpeace.org. You can take it to your local clinic that you got it in the first place, ask them to help locate the local hangar company who offered to collect them all, store them for us. And what I'd like to do is get as many crutches as possible first because, while there's infection, we can't fit limbs. I have collected a number of pomades, which is a temporary sponge blow-up leg, because the sooner you can create circulation in the early days of healing, the sooner it will start to work and minimize infection.
KING: Sanjay, is the health care infrastructure in Haiti ready to handle an influx like this, say, reaction to this program tonight. Can they handle hundreds of crutches and wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs coming in at once?
GUPTA: That's a good question. They are certainly going to need that. Whether now exactly is the right time, I think, as Heather probably knows, having done this sort of work, they are in the acute phase of things. Amputations are still being performed, Larry. It takes some time after an amputation is performed. The wound has to heal. The swelling has to go down.
Eventually, the prosthetic gets fit, but that could be a few weeks from now still. I think that there are several different organizations which have been performing these amputations. There are so many of them. We are standing outside a Swiss tent in the Partners of Help organization, Mt. Sinai in New York. There are so many organizations doing this. It is going to be a little bit of time we are in that phase, but it is coming, no doubt.
KING: Heather, I know you did this historically on our show once.
MILLS: Yes, we need...
KING: I would appreciate it if you did it again. Will you show us your limb so people around the world can get an idea of how they will be helping?
MILLS: This is actually the kind of limb that we need to find to donate but, like Sanjay said, I'm fully aware that they are not going to need the limbs for weeks. But it takes weeks to coordinate. It takes weeks for people to donate and get them packed and shipped, as you saw when disasters happened, before they got food, befor3e they got things. So it's thinking three or four steps ahead. It will be very soon that they will need crutches most importantly.
So this is an artificial leg, typical. This is a socket on my leg, which has a screw attachment. And what we do is you have an attachment in here and the leg goes on and pops in and it actually screws in. So that is the attachment we need to have to make it simple for people to be able to get about, so it doesn't get hot (ph).
But we need to collect as many as possible because it takes us weeks to actually take this limb apart and find the components and put them into boxes. What we don't want is, when they are able and ready, to have a limb fitted, that we are still messing about and struggling to do this.
KING: All right, let me get a break.
MILLS: This is why I work with companies that are already doing it down there. So you are not just going in blindfolded. You are working with people who have been there for several years as Physicians for Peace have.
KING: And if you want more information, you go to physiciansforpeace.org. We'll take a break. An American survivor will join us to talk about her road to recovery. Says she is lucky to be alive, even though she lost part of her leg, crushed in the earthquake.
Back in 60 seconds.
KING: Joining us now, a return visit with Christa Brelsford, an American who survived the earthquake, but her crushed left leg had to be amputated below the knee after she was evacuated back to the United States. She's at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
How are you doing, Christa?
CHRISTA BRELSFORD, AMPUTEE: I'm doing great.
KING: Now you're obviously grateful. You have access to major medical care. How long before you'll get a prosthetic?
BRELSFORD: It will still be a couple weeks for me. Last Friday, the surgeons were finally able to close up the wound on my leg. So now the skin needs to heal, and the swelling needs to go down, and then I'll be able to be fitted for a prosthetic.
KING: Have you been able to see what Heather just showed us? BRELSFORD: No, I wasn't.
KING: OK. Well, it looked pretty simple.
Heather, what advice would you have for Christa?
MILLS: She obviously looks quite positive. I can see in her face that she's gone through a very difficult time, but I'm sure she's got a lot of love and support of her family and friends around her.
And just the most important thing is to take care of your health and get the best kind of prosthetic that you can in America. And the most important thing is not cosmetic immediately, because you're residual limb will shrink as time goes on, as I'm sure you've been told.
I have a forum of 6,000 amputees that all talk to each other that probably live in an area near you. If you go on our web site, heathermills.org, you can talk to many people and learn things, where if you've got a blister or bleeding later, you don't need to be off your limb. You can use blister plasters. Lots of little tips that help going forward.
And one of the quickest ways that I healed was go on to help. It's like a natural adrenaline feeling that you are connecting with other people. so if you get in touch with us when you're feeling ready, then you can go on and help a lot of the victims from Haiti yourself, if you feel that you want to do something like that. But you obviously, and hopefully, are going to get the best care.
MILLS: We'll communicate.
KING: You'll be in touch. And it's heathermills.org, Heather? Is that it?
MILLS: That's it, heathermills.org.
KING: Sanjay, how is Haiti going to be able to handle all of these amputees? I know that your specialty is brain surgery, but you know the body pretty well. It's going to be an enormous task, isn't it, assuming they get a lot of help coming in?
GUPTA: Yes, there's no question about it, Larry. It's going to be an enormous task. Heather should know that the types of patients that this is going to help -- we met a 7-year-old boy not that long ago. Marie Claude (ph) is his name. He's 7 years old. This house literally fell on his leg. He required an amputation. He's back there with his mother. His four other siblings and father perished in the home. He needs a leg. If he doesn't have a leg, he can't get around. If he can't get around Port-au-Prince -- it's very hard to get around in wheelchairs, so you need to be able to walk. And even with this amputation, he needs help even with the prosthetic device.
So how is Haiti, how is Port-au-Prince going to be able to deal with this? It's going to be very, very tough. The infrastructure is going to change completely. This is going to be a country that's known for amputations. And they didn't do a very good job before this of taking care of a lot of people with different disabilities. This is something that will need a lot of focus with the help of Heather and a lot of other people.
KING: Heather, we salute you again. We'll be calling on you again.
It's physiciansforpeace.org, physiciansforpeace.org.
MILLS: That's it. Please get in touch and help us.
KING: Get in tough.
MILLS: Anything bandages, anything medical would be great.
And also one last thing, Larry, before you go.
KING: And, Christa, we'll keep in touch with you.
MILLS: Sorry, darling. One last thing before you go. Any prosthetics that want to volunteer please contact physiciansforpeace.org, because we do a two-week rotor system, which won't take you away from your patients outside of donating your own holiday time.
KING: Thank you.
And, Christa, we'll keep in touch on your process.
And we'll check back, of course, with Dr. Gupta.
Thank you all very much.
The Wilkins family was in the process of adopting a Haitian boy when the earthquake hit. We told you their story last week. We have a happy report for you tonight. Little Samuel is in the United States, flown in from Haiti with 80 other orphans. He's right here. He'll join us with his family, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JILL WILKINS, ADOPTIVE PARENT: Did Daddy wake you up?
JOE WILKINS, ADOPTIVE PARENT: There he is.
JILL WILKINS: There he is.
JOE WILKINS: Happy face. Well, we made it to the airport.
They're coming home. Here they come, ready or not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: This is a happy night for us around "LARRY KING LIVE" here at CNN. Joining us are Joe and Jill Wilkins. They were in the process of finalizing their adoption of Little Samuel Chancelot (ph) when the earthquake struck. Joe traveled to Haiti last week to bring their son and other child home from God's Little Angels Orphanage, home to the United States.
Joe, Jill, and Samuel are here with us now.
Joining us in a while, Jason and Jamie Stanley. They were the adopting parents of 6-year-old twins from Haiti when the earthquake hit. The twins, Jon Danie (ph) and Danice (ph) arrived in the United States on Friday with Wilkins' son, Samuel. The Stanley's' daughters, Ali and Whitney, are also there with the family.
But first, we'll concentrate here on the Wilkins.
What's it like, Joe, to finally have him home?
JOE WILKINS: It's wonderful to have him here. We've been looking for this for the past several months, and over a year now. And being a dad for three days, everything is new and exciting.
KING: First child?
JOE WILKINS: First child, yes.
KING: How did he handle the flight?
JOE WILKINS: From Haiti, he slept the whole flight, so that was nice. Of course, I had two other kids next to me, so I was kind of -- they were a little more...
KING: You had 80 on the plane altogether?
JOE WILKINS: We had 81 on the plane.
KING: They dispersed in Miami?
JOE WILKINS: In Miami, we went through immigration for seven and a half hours while they did the paperwork. That was a time that I'll never forget.
KING: When can he, Jill, become a citizen?
JILL WILKINS: Well, you know, Larry, that's one mountain we have ahead of us. I think a lot of us were at the legalization point where they had -- we had -- he had our last name. Since that time, since they had the humanitarian parole, we've lost that. So we have to start over. We don't know what it entails yet. We haven't had a lot of information shared. We're just praying that the government does the right thing and just possibly just grants these kids U.S. citizenship. I think they've been through so much already, and starting over, it just seems like too much of a mountain in front of us.
KING: Samuel is 20 months?
JILL WILKINS: He's 20 months.
KING: What happened to his parents?
JOE WILKINS: His parents were killed, we believe, in a natural disaster in 2008 when he was only about 4 months old.
KING: The hurricane?
JOE WILKINS: I believe so.
JILL WILKINS: That's what's been keeping us together.
KING: He's been at the orphanage ever since?
JILL WILKINS: He came in, in November of 2008, to the orphanage, and we were matched up in December of 2008.
KING: Do they give you a lot of information about his health?
JOE WILKINS: Definitely. We get -- we get our -- at least when he was at the orphanage, we got monthly updates on his size, his height, his weight, if there are any illnesses with him.
KING: Do you expect a long battle on citizenship?
JILL WILKINS: I pray not, Larry. Obviously we've been at this since -- our adoption process since 2007. We need it to be over. We are so tired. We need him to be with us for good and not worry about it.
KING: You stay here.
Let's go to Des Moines, Iowa. Jason and Jamie Stanley, like the Wilkins, they are in the process of finalizing an adoption from the same agency.
How are the kids doing, Jason?
JASON STANLEY, ADOPTEE PARENT: They're doing very well, Larry. Thanks for asking. You may notice, we're down one daughter. Everything was a little overwhelming for us. So Whitney is off the screen right now, but here in person.
KING: And Ali is there, right?
JASON STANLEY: Ali is right here, that's right. And Jon Danie (ph) and Danice (ph), they're doing very well. It was a little overwhelming for them, but they're really fitting into the family well. We got a new puppy for Christmas and that seems to be breaking the ice. Danice (ph) is really mothering her and having a great time with her.
KING: Do they have the same citizenship issue as the Wilkins?
JASON STANLEY: They do, yes.
KING: So you think you're going to have a battle on your hands?
JASON STANLEY: We might. We haven't had an opportunity to talk with our social worker yet, but we'll do that hopefully this week so we can understand what we need today and whether we need to get an adoption attorney involved. But we'll do whatever we need to do. We've come three years and we're not going to stop now.
KING: Will the state of Iowa be involved?
JASON STANLEY: Most likely. That's our understanding, yes. Unless there's some other change that we don't know about. that we're hope will happen -- as Jill mentioned, we're hoping there's an opportunity for them to not make all the families go through this, but, again, we are willing to do what we need to do, because they're our kids.
KING: Yes. More with our new families -- is this joyous or not -- when we come back.
KING: Joe was on the plane, right?
JOE WILKINS: I was, yes.
KING: Jill, you were in Miami?
JILL WILKINS: I was.
KING: Jason and Jamie were in Miami waiting for the twins, right?
JASON: STANLEY: That's correct, yes.
KING: What was that like when the plane came in, Jason?
JASON STANLEY: It was wonderful. They put it up on the arrival boards. We were able to see that it came in and saw that it landed. I got a picture of Jamie pointing to it, the landed status. We didn't know, at that time, how much of a long haul we had in front of us, another eight or nine hours. But we were just happy they were on American soil.
KING: How did the 6-year-olds react when they saw you, Jamie?
JAMIE STANLEY: It was wonderful. I first saw Jon Danie (ph) and he saw me. And I said his name, and he ran to me and hugged me stronger than I thought a 6-year-old could hug. And Danice (ph) looked at me with a shy kind of a smile and gave me a hug. She was a little sick, so her emotions were maybe a little bit tempered, but they were happy. They were happy.
KING: Subdued, yes.
Joe and Jill, is the United States government getting involved in your hopeful matter to expedite things?
JILL WILKINS: We heard from a Senator today through e-mail that said they were going to check on it. They had so many e-mails and they were behind on so many issues. We need to say this is priority. And we're hoping that they stay involved and really do help us out.
KING: We hope so, too.
The same with you, Jason? Do you expect the government to get involved?
JASON STANLEY: We hope so. We hope so. We don't really know. We haven't heard anything yet. We're still waiting for that to be worked out, but we also -- we know that there's other things on their minds, as well with the orphans which have just created in Haiti. We want them to make sure that they are being taken care of, too.
JASON STANLEY: We heard today that our orphanage expects to be full again in two weeks, tops. So with the adoption status still up in the air down there, they're going to need support because who knows how long those kids will be there.
KING: Good luck to all of you.
We'll stay on top of this story and we'll keep in constant touch.
JILL WILKINS: Great. Thank you
KING: Great meeting the little boys there and the boy and girl -- rather the twins in Des Moines, and here in Los Angeles, to finally see Samuel Chancelot (ph).
JILL WILKINS: L.A., L.A.
JOE WILKINS: L.A.
KING: Come on. He's been saying L.A.
JILL WILKINS: L.A., L.A.
JOE WILKINS: L.A.?
JILL WILKINS: L.A.? KING: Good enough.
KING: Ivan Watson has been covering this story from the beginning. He's in Port-au-Prince with the latest.
I understand you have the story of a man, a construction worker, what's that about, Ivan?
IVAN WATSON, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. He was a realtor, Larry, and basically I found a guy, he was starting to try to take apart what's left of his house and try to salvage a few things. I followed him home to where he's now living. This guy had a three- story house. He was renting out the bottom floors to help pay for his college kids tuition. Now he's living in a sprawling refugee camp in a make-shift tent. It's filthy. He's embarrassed about it. His whole family, they survived, thank God, but they're sleeping on the ground in this filthy place.
Even if he gets some food from the U.S. military or from the aid organizations, this guy's dignity right now is crushed. He's accustomed to working and struggling to pay for his kids and make a good life and a home for his family. Now they're sleeping under a sheet. It's really, really tough to see this guy in this awful position and...
KING: Ivan, wouldn't construction workers be in demand in Haiti now?
WATSON: This man was actually a real estate agent. And I think he was making a lot of his money renting out the ground floor of his building, as renting it out basically to help pay for his family. That's gone now.
I asked him, you know, everybody is alive and everybody is OK, and, yes, everybody is OK, but now what? What does this guy do now? What do hundreds of thousands of other people like him do? Getting a bag of rice, it's wonderful, and it will keep them alive for a week, maybe for four days. Imagine how much they lost.
I asked his daughter, Larry, does it make you sad living here? The tent was like a sauna. She kind of said, "Very, very, very." And then she just stared off into the distance and tried not to cry. It's a 17-year-old girl.
KING: That was CNN's Ivan Watson reporting from Port-au-Prince.
Next, fear over the safety of Haiti's orphans. Are they in danger of being bought and sold on the open market? And what can be done to prevent it? Don't go away.
KING: Joining us now to talk about the risk of child trafficking and abduction in Haiti after the earthquake, Lisa Laumann, Associate Vice President for Child Protection at Save the Children; also Maggie Boyer, she's Communications Director for World Vision in Haiti; and CNN's own Anderson Cooper.
Lisa, how worried are we about child trafficking in this tragedy?
LISA LAUMANN, ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR CHILD PROTECTION, SAVE THE CHILDREN: Well, Larry, we were worried before and we're worried now. I will say that there are a lot of stories out there, a lot of rumors, and a number of organizations -- UNICEF, Save the Children, World Vision -- are trying to follow them up.
To date, we haven't really found evidence that any of these stories are true, but that doesn't mean that children are not at risk.
So, we think it's very important that all humanitarian actors remain vigilant.
KING: Maggie, it is quite a danger, is it, since so many children are scattered around, we don't know if their parents are living or dead? They're certainly open to this, aren't they?
MAGGIE BOYER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, WORLD VISION: That is correct, Larry. Before the quake, there were about 380,000 children labeled orphans in Haiti. And you can imagine that number has increased since the quake.
So, World Vision is certainly mindful of that number and working very hard to keep track of those children and ensure their well-being.
KING: Maggie, by the way, is coming to us via that Skype gadget, which is amazing how it works.
Anderson Cooper, have you seen any evidence of this at all in your reporting?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We looked into it. We were given a heads up to two allegations, two stories that were floating around. UNICEF kind of turned us on. So, we investigated both of them. They did not -- we did not get any evidence of any kind of trafficking in those two incidents. We've certainly talked to UNICEF and Save the Children, who say they are clearly on the lookout.
And what's really important, Larry, is that now a lot of these organizations really want to start tracking, trying to get their hands around how many orphans there really are, who really is an orphan, who may have other family members that they're just separated from who want to take care of them.
But we also saw this in the wake of the tsunami in Sri Lanka. There were a lot of concerns, a lot of rumors about child trafficking. We investigated those. It was very hard to find actual evidence of it.
But, Larry, Haiti does have a history of not just child trafficking internationally or going to Dominican Republic, but also internally kids are sold often or given by poor families to other families living in the city. And those kids will grow up as domestic servants working for a family. So that's something, that's a form of trafficking which happens right here in Haiti and happened long before the earthquake.
KING: Lisa, how does trafficking work? Give us the modus operandi. What happens?
LAUMANN: Well, it's difficult to say obviously because it's a clandestine form of activity. But often traffickers are people who are known in communities. They developed relationships.
Often, the kinds of trafficking that happens in places like Haiti, the "restavec" or "reste avec" in French, "stay with" phenomenon, is something that happens when a family feels that it can't care for its children adequately and it sends them to what it presumes to be a wealthier family in another area to provide domestic service in exchange for food and shelter and clothes and possibly an education.
What happens often, however, is that the terms of the child's living there are not very well -- they're not monitored at all. They're not very well established, and children are often treated harshly. Sometimes, there is violence. Sometimes, they're not provided the entitlements that they think they are entitled to. And sometimes, they are sexually abused.
Often, they're a cause to leave those families before they turn 15, which is the age at which they should be legally paid, and then they go on the streets.
KING: And how much -- how much sexual slavery, Maggie, is involved in this?
BOYER: Larry, I think when children are abandoned or separated from their families and not in the care and affection of their parents, they are exposed to all kinds of dangers, including sexual exploitation, which, of course, is not unheard of in Haiti.
We have seen some statistics suggesting that up to maybe a third of our young women especially in the city do suffer some kind of sexual violence. So, it is -- it is a danger here even before the quake. And there is no reason to think that those numbers have decreased.
KING: Anderson, how do we know an orphan is an orphan? When you see a child on the street there, how do you know if the parents are living? What the situation -- is the father living, mother dead, how do you know?
COOPER: Well, you don't really know. I mean, you can talk to them but oftentimes they're simply separated and they will tell you, you know, I've heard my mother died but I don't know. I mean, people just disappeared here, Larry, in the earthquake. You know, a mother goes out to buy something at the store, the store collapsed on her. The child hasn't seen her but has heard through stories that she is dead.
So, there really needs to be a system in place. I know UNICEF is working on it. Save the Children as well. I'm sure the Red Cross will be involved in trying to identify and basically catalog all these unaccompanied minors out there with the aim of reuniting them with parents, if parents are out there, reuniting them with other family members, or figuring out, you know what, these kids really are orphans and will need some sort of either orphanage here or some sort of international adoption.
KING: We'll take a break. When we come back, we'll ask you if adoptions maybe are taking place that shouldn't be adoptions. Don't go away.
KING: Lisa, is it possible that a lot of children are being adopted haphazardly?
LAUMANN: Larry, we don't actually know. We know that some children have left Haiti already to go to other countries. I understand that the children who have come to the United States so far were children who are in the process of adoption. And so far along there was almost no question or no question at all about what their status should be.
I think the concern now is that we not rush to adoption and we not rush to the assumption that these children don't have parents or don't have extended families that might want to care for them.
Adoption may be an important and necessary option for them down the line, but the first thing that we need to do is make sure that if they have family that is out there, if there are neighbors and community members who want to and have the capacity to care for them ethically and responsibly, but then we are in a position to let that happen before it's too late.
KING: Maggie, I know that you met with the president and first lady of Haiti. Did you discuss the possibility of this problem with them?
BOYER: Larry, I did have the honor of meeting the president and the first lady this morning. And I did have the opportunity to bring up to them World Vision's concern with the well-being of children. And I'm glad to report that the first lady was already aware of that and is working on an initiative, and World Vision is looking forward to perhaps assisting the government in the coming weeks and days, especially the first lady's office about this initiative concerning children.
And, Larry, can I just add one more thing?
BOYER: Just going back from earlier.
BOYER: The Haitian prime minister had in his daily meeting with heads of agencies made it very clear in no uncertain terms a couple of days ago that any hasty adoptions are not likely to succeed. The government has granted some expedited adoptions, but those were already in process. And they were done on formal requests from embassies near.
So, I do think the government is aware of the danger of hasty adoptions. There would be impulse. It's certainly understood. And I don't mean to impugn those who would want to do that. I understand the impulse of wanting to help children, but just to be clarify, the government is aware of this problem and is very, very much on task about not allowing that to happen.
KING: Anderson, trying to get a picture of this, are there a lot of children just running loose?
COOPER: You come across kids all the time who are identified as being on the run. I mean, I got to a general hospital; I met a little boy named Johnny who is 5 years old, didn't know his last name. The nurse there told me he had no one watching over him. She was particularly keeping an eye on him.
I met a "restavek" girl in another hospital out by the airport.
I was in a church. They had about 20 kids who they identified as orphans. They did make a list telling me all these kids were up for adoptions. It was very unclear whether they wanted some orphanage here to adopt them. Or -- I mean, there was even an indication they were willing to let me just take these kids.
So, there's a lot of kind of kids kind of floating around in ad hoc groups with maybe some adults, some locals looking after them, but they really need to be watched over in a much more, you know, organized setting by international groups, by Haitian orphanages, and really get a sense of how many there are and exactly what their needs are.
KING: Thank you all very much.
Coming up, a hopeful story about survival under the toughest of conditions. What kept American Dan Woolley alive under the rubble of a hotel in Haiti for 65 hours? He'll tell us next.
KING: Dan Woolley was buried in the rubble of the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince for 65 hours. As you can see, he survived the ordeal. His wife Christy joins us, too. They're in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
How did you do it, Dan?
DAN WOOLLEY, SURVIVED 65 HOURS IN RUBBLE: You know what? I had a lot of people praying for me, praying for safety for this trip. And God was there. He was listening to their prayers and he helped me survive.
KING: What were you doing in Haiti?
D. WOOLLEY: I work with Compassion International and I was there with a filmmaker, David Hames, and we were shooting a documentary to shine a light on the extreme poverty of children there.
KING: I understand you wrote notes while buried under the rubble to your wife and your two sons. How did you do that?
D. WOOLLEY: Well, I realized that -- I was always hoping for a rescue, but I realized that I may not have that opportunity. That might not be God's plan for me at that time.
So, I had -- I had a camera with me and I was able to use the light from the focus on the camera to shine on a page and then I write a couple of lines and move my finger down and then write a couple more lines.
I just wanted to say to my wife and kids the things I would want them to carry with them if I wasn't able to get out.
KING: Christy, have you seen those notes?
CHRISTINA WOOLLEY, WIFE OF DAN WOOLLEY: I've seen some of them, yes.
D. WOOLLEY: I'm not ready to...
KING: What did you say, Dan?
D. WOOLLEY: I'm not ready to share them all yet. We're still working through some of that.
KING: All right, Christy, what was it like for you? Did you -- did you give up hope?
C. WOOLLEY: I did in the end. I did give up hope because -- oh, gosh, I just -- I just kept crying out to God. I didn't know if Dan was in heaven or in Haiti. And I went from times of despair to times of hope. It was hard to go back and forth. And then we have two young sons and it's hard to stay strong for them and say daddy's coming home, daddy's coming home, and then not know for sure.
KING: How did you learn he was OK?
C. WOOLLEY: The State Department called me at 6:00 in the morning on Friday morning, and I started packing. They said that they found him. He was alive, but they couldn't get to him.
So I packed my boots and my gloves and my hat and my sunglasses and I was on my way to Haiti to dig. And I got a call in the Dallas airport that they had been able to extract him.
KING: Wow. I understand there was another man buried and you were talking to him, too, Dan. Is that true?
D. WOOLLEY: That's right. I was able to communicate with about seven other people. But right next to me in the elevator shaft next to me was a Haitian gentleman. And we actually -- we could hear each other well, and we talked a lot. We prayed together and we sang songs together. And just really encourage each other.
And you know what? Holding on to hope in a situation like that was -- was just really vital. And I wanted to do everything I could to get back to my wife and my boys.
KING: Christy, when that phone rang, it's 6 a.m., that could have been anything on that call, right? That could have been bad news.
C. WOOLLEY: Yes.
KING: Did you -- do you remember what you felt before you picked up the phone?
C. WOOLLEY: Well, my sister answered it, and then she brought the phone to me and she said, Christy, it's the State Department, they're calling.
And I had to fall on the floor. I couldn't even stand up. My legs were shaking so badly. And I just said, have you heard anything from my husband?
And they said, well, a man named Dan Woolley has been identified.
And I said, is he alive? And they said, yes, he's alive. And I said, could he identify himself? Could you tell me of his injuries? And they said, we don't know anything else and we can't get to him, so.
KING: Wow. Dan, are you OK?
D. WOOLLEY: You know what? I'm doing great. I've got, you know, a big cut on my leg that's healing. I'm going to have a great scar there. And other than that...
C. WOOLLEY: Got a broken leg. Got broken foot.
D. WOOLLEY: Yes. But I'm alive and I'm with my family, and just grateful to God and all the people around the world who were praying for me.
KING: Congratulations to both of you. Dan and Christy Woolley. What a story.
Next, Mary J. Blige, Andrea Bocelli and David Foster joining forces to raise money for Haiti. Stay with us.
KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. And joining us now, Mary J. Blige, the 9-time Grammy-winning recording artist; and Andrea Bocelli, the world renowned tenor; along with David Foster, 15-time Grammy-winning music producer. They have an announcement to make.
You make it, David.
DAVID FOSTER, MUSIC PRODUCER: Well, we got together, the 40th anniversary of this song "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Ken Ehrlich, the producer of the Grammys, picked this song for Mary and Andrea to sing as a tribute to that song and also a tribute to -- I mean to raise funds for what's happening in Haiti. And it's been a labor of love with these two great but diverse voices.
KING: And they will sing it on the Grammys Sunday night?
FOSTER: They will, yes.
KING: And how does it benefit Haiti?
FOSTER: All the proceeds from Steve Jobs, Target, Interscope Records, Warner Records, everybody is donating 100 percent to the Red Cross for Haiti relief.
KING: Mary, have you sung with Andrea before?
MARY J. BLIGE, RECORDING ARTIST: Yes, I have on his Christmas album. We did "What Child Is This?," the duet on his album.
KING: What's it like to sing with him?
BLIGE: It's amazing. It's a blessing. It's a gift.
KING: A challenge?
BLIGE: He is remarkable. It is absolutely a challenge. It's sp different for me. I'm so happy, so honored.
KING: Andrea, you are so famous in the world of opera.
ANDREA BOCELLI, RECORDING ARTIST: Oh, come on.
KING: Is "Bridge Over Troubled Water" difficult for you?
BOCELLI: This is a beautiful song. Very beautiful song. But I think that in this case, it's a very important song, because we know that there are many, many children suffering in Haiti. And this is the first reason for which I am here.
I love this country. I like very, very much to sing with Mary J. Blige, but I know that all together we can do big things for many children suffering at this moment. And this is the most important thing.
KING: David, have you -- it must be quite at first uncommon as a producer to bring these two together?
FOSTER: Well, it was.
KING: You produced the Christmas album, did you?
FOSTER: I did. For Andrea, where Mary sang with Andrea. And I had help with my friend Ron Fair. And he and Ken kind of brainchild this project. But, you know, when you take these two voices, they're so different. To find the common ground is...
BOCELLI: Male and female.
FOSTER: It took a while to crack the code but we did. And it's such an important project. I mean, you know, I mean, to talk about Haiti, that was almost redundant. It is just such a problem down there, you know.
KING: The song is 40 years old?
FOSTER: Forty. Which makes you and I, Larry, a lot older.
KING: The song is older than you, Mary.
KING: So you must know this song from your childhood?
BLIGE: Absolutely. My mom used to play the Aretha version -- the Aretha Franklin version when I was a child, and I still listen to it with her when she played it, and even sneaking listen to it when she wasn't around.
KING: Does it have great meaning to you, Andrea?
BOCELLI: What is it?
KING: To sing it. Does it have great meaning to sing the song?
BOCELLI: I remember when I was a child, I knew already the song, and I sang also this song in the piano bar when I was younger.
KING: In the piano bar?
FOSTER: Can you imagine Andrea Bocelli in a piano bar?
KING: What did you do in a piano bar?
BOCELLI: During the anniversary, I played in the piano bar all evening. And with the money I bought many, many keyboards, it was my passion.
KING: Why don't we go to a karaoke bar together? FOSTER: See, what I love with these two singers, they're so fearless they'll do anything. You know, they're such different walks of life musically, but they come together so beautifully. And that's the true mark of a super star, I think, you know.
KING: How has the Haiti story affected you, Mary?
BLIGE: I mean, very heavily because it's like a two-hour plane ride away, Haiti, so it is home. So, it's affecting me just as it, you know, not to the extreme that it's affecting them. But I have to put myself in their shoes to understand their pain. It is home, you know, I am them.
KING: How was the concert tour going? Andrea has either sold out everywhere, right?
FOSTER: Yes. We did a Christmas tour together and now more projects coming. And hopefully, I'll be involved with Mary and Andrea in the future. I love working with both of them. It's a thrill to go. Can you imagine sitting there and getting paid to listen to these voices?
KING: Have you got a tour coming?
BLIGE: I definitely have a tour coming. When? Probably this spring, sometime.
KING: Are you going to record more, Andrea, with female singers?
BOCELLI: I like it. I record only with female singers.
KING: And Mary, you have an album out right now?
BLIGE: Yes, I have an album out. It's called "Stronger With Each Tear," Larry, and it's doing so well.
KING: "Stronger With Each Tear"?
BLIGE: That's right. With each tear we cry, we can only get stronger. I hope.
KING: We're going to hear that song, coming up now. We'll see you at the Grammys Sunday night. We'll see that performance.
FOSTER: Sunday night. The great Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige.
KING: And proceeds go to Haiti.
FOSTER: The Red Cross.
KING: We have more images of Haiti tonight, set to Mary J. Blige's rendition of "Each Tear."