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Haiti Needs Help; Marines' Goodwill Mission

Aired January 15, 2010 - 10:00   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: A man trapped under a building for two days, his family members use a blow torch to get him out. His cries ringing out from the burns. But perhaps the most amazing part of his story, a car may have saved him. The car kept the building from flattening him. CNN's Susan Candiotti has the story from Port- au-Prince.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Beneath an opening of a five-story school, a 21-year-old man is pinned on his side under a slab of cement, alive after 46 hours. Someone passes him our microphone.

(on camera): What are you saying to yourself?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Myself? As I'm a Christian, I say Jesus, my life is in your hands.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): He says he's not in pain. A leg is stuck.

(On camera): Can you move at all?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can move my right hand and my left foot.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): A brave victim and brave rescuers, his own family, risking their lives to free him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They tried. They tried to help me.

CANDIOTTI: Grade-schoolers and teachers were also inside when the building collapsed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me with a teacher is five, and me, I'm like you.

CANDIOTTI: But will his luck hold out?

(on camera): After about an hour and a half a little more progress was made. These men using chisels and a blow torch have freed him up just a little bit more. But one of his hands is still caught and while all of this was going on, this is a very dangerous situation.

(voice-over): He screams in agony as a blow torch scorches his skin. Rescuers pass him water by the bucket to cool his burns.

(on camera): Please hang on, please hang on.

(voice-over): He does. Applause as the young man is pulled from the wreckage, his hand mangled but still there. A glorious moment in a sea of despair. Among those still suffering, a woman on the other side of the building. A woman in pain. Her 12-year-old son, Mark, was also in the same school. Could his be one of those voices still crying out? Her only child remains missing.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.



MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: Right now my husband and the administration are focused on moving as many resources as possible into Haiti as quickly as possible so that we can save as many lives as we can. And later today I'll be taping a public service announcement for the Red Cross, which is providing on the ground support, food, water, medicine that's desperately need right now, particularly in this short period of 48, 72 hours after the disaster.


COLLINS: The USS Carl Vinson is docked offshore now. It will be a major staging area for U.S. relief efforts along with tons of aid. There are 19 helicopters on board and they have already flown a couple of missions as you might imagine. Those helicopters are critical. Of course they can fly the desperately needed aid over the badly damaged roads. Many of those roads inland from the destroyed port are impassable.

Another thing hampering that aid is the airport. We've been talking about it a lot. As you know it was damaged in the quake. There's really only one runway that's open now to handle all of these big cargo planes like the one you're looking at right there. CNN Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence is at the airport in Port-au- Prince.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Heidi. Yes, I'm told that a lot of this aid will start to get out into the communities very soon. What they're trying to do now is working out the logistics with a lot of the Haitian officials and some of the aid agencies to figure out exactly at what points in the city need to be set up as possible staging areas.

One of the issues and we saw it the other day, a police car pulled up with sandwiches, bottled water and a lot of food. The crowd started coming around the police car, they were handing out these sandwiches, handing out the food. A lot of people said they hadn't eaten in over a day but at some point he ran out. At that point people were still pushing and pushing closer and closer to the car. He started to see some of the women, some of the older people started to get pushed to the back. People got a little frustrated. That was just a crowd of about 30 people. The key will be what happens when that's a crowd of 300 people or even 3,000 people. So they're trying to work out those logistics to make sure not only the food is here but they have the right personnel to put that in the right neighborhood and have the right perhaps security teams to make sure it's sort of an orderly distribution system and doesn't just, you know, degenerate into chaos. Heidi.

COLLINS: All right. Chris, thanks for that.

CNN is the place to be for updates on the Haiti earthquake and relief efforts. Make sure you log on to our web site at There you will find a list of agencies providing emergency relief and accepting donations. You will also see a find your loved ones module with the State Department's toll-free number. And a link to the I-report looking for loved ones photo gallery.

I want to take a moment to bring in Rob Marciano now from the severe weather center. I'm sorry, Rob, I don't know what you have. What's going on over there?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, I'm going to start with the news that Sanjay broke earlier at this hour, that this is your last day and we're all very, very sad and...

COLLINS: Thank you, Rob.

MARCIANO: It's been an incredible run. I'll have more to say about that later. First off though, we have some weather news. There's a storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, not a tropical storm but a storm that's going to dump a lot of rain across Texas and the southeast. We'll talk about that. The forecast for Haiti and we'll touch on the solar eclipse, that rare event once again. That's coming up in just a few minutes. Heidi.


COLLINS: Two Chicago men face federal terrorism charges. They're accused of plotting an attack on a Danish newspaper and helping to plan the 2008 attack in Mumbai, India. The indictment was unsealed yesterday. Both men are in federal custody in Chicago. A retired Pakistani military officer and a reputed terrorist leader also charged in the indictment.

Let's head back over to Rob Marciano now, standing by in the severe weather center, to talk about - are you kidding me, storms for the weekend? We've been dealing with all this cold like pretty much everywhere in the country and now stormy where?

MARCIANO: Is that where you want me to start? Because it's your last day I'm going to let you pretty much produce -

COLLINS: You're going to start with the sunshine?

MARCIANO: -- my forecast. We have a number of things. We can touch on Haiti. We can touch on this solar eclipse.

COLLINS: I'm just following the directions I've been given. So you start wherever you want.

MARCIANO: See, that's your first mistake.

COLLINS: I know.

MARCIANO: All right. There we go. Looking at rain across the southeast, Heidi is talking about. It is has been - we've seen the warm-up. That's been good news but still the ground across parts of the southeast is frozen and actually any sort of heavy rain that we get is going to be a bit of a problem. They're getting that right now across parts of southeast Texas, the lower Texas coastline, Corpus Christi, down to Brownsville, San Antonio, Houston.

You see, it's all rotating up in through there but it's not really propagating to the east very rapidly. It will do that slowly over the next day or two and gain more moisture off the Gulf of Mexico and that means more in the way of rainfall.

Look at some of these numbers, though. Today's high temperatures, 74 in Miami. That's good. 46 in New York, 36 in Chicago. Actually, that's a little bit at or in some cases above average. So all this is going to be rain for the most part. There may be slivers of icy pockets across the Appalachians where cold air gets wedged in but generally speaking this is going to be a pretty intense low-pressure system that will have a fair amount of rain with it. All right.

Let's talk the eclipse because this is cool. It lasted 11 minutes on the other side of the world, unfortunately, where the moon blocks out the sun during the middle of the day and in places like India, parts of China and even parts of Africa got a little chunk of this. This is the - that's a cool shot with it looks like some kind of hawk cruising in front.

Anyway, that's the longest eclipse that we're going to see for the next century. So in our lifetime action even though we didn't see it here on the East Coast.

Hey, good news out of Haiti as far as the weather is concerned. Status quo. Temperatures seasonable for this time of year. In the lower 90s for highs, lows at night will be in the lower 70s and not a whole lot of rain in the forecast. Most rain chances we'll see is about 20 percent. One aftershock in the last 12 hours, so Heidi, it looks like the frequency of aftershocks is starting to decrease just a little bit and we certainly hope that continues as we go through the next couple days because it's extremely dangerous, obviously, for any sort of shaking in the unstable, crushed buildings that those rescue workers are working in.

COLLINS: Yes, no kidding. All right. Rob, keep us posted on all of that, of course, if you can. Thank you.

MARCIANO: You bet. COLLINS: Stuffed animals making a difference in Afghanistan. Wait until you hear the story coming up in a moment.


MICHELLE OBAMA: The destruction and the suffering that we see, the images that are coming out of that country are just overwhelming. And it is important for the people of Haiti to know that we are keeping the victims of this tragedy and their loved ones in our thoughts and our prayers.



COLLINS: Checking some of the other stories making news now this hour, NBA star Gilbert Arenas is due in court for a hearing this afternoon. He's been charged with a felony gun violation after admitting he drew guns in the Washington Wizards locker room last month. He says he meant no harm and was not aware of the city's strict gun laws.

NASA officials want to know how a bag of cocaine got into the hangar that houses the space shuttle "Discovery." A NASA spokesman said the bag was found in a secure part of the hangar at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. That area accessible by about 200 NASA employees and contractors. The space agency is drug testing and interviewing workers using drug-sniffing dogs too.

Democrats reporting progress in negotiations to strike a compromised deal on health care reform. President Obama met with congressional Democratic leaders until about 1:00 a.m. this morning. Earlier yesterday union leaders agreed to a plan to limit the reach of high-end health insurance plans to help pay for the overhaul.

Chaos at the airport in Port-au-Prince. Evacuees clamoring to get out. We'll have a live report straight from there.


COLLINS: 2,200 U.S. Marines will be in Haiti by next Tuesday to help support the relief effort there. That's on top of their other major assignments, of course, Iraq and Afghanistan.

We wanted to take this opportunity to bring you a story that we've been wanting to tell for quite some time now. It's about tough, rugged, dedicated Marines handing out Beanie Babies to Afghan children and all the good that gesture is bringing.

Joining us from Washington is Rebecca Matthews. She is the president of the Marine Aviation Officers Spouses Club who is helping with the Beanie Baby donations and gathering all those little things up. And also on the phone from Afghanistan, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Maler who's helped give out some of those Beanie Babies to the Afghan kids. Lt. Col. Maler, I'd like to start with you, if I could. You know, when you think about it, you think about the Marines and all the hard work that they and the other branches in the service are doing in Afghanistan and you think Beanie Babies, where did this come from and what good is it doing?

LT. COL. CHRIS MALER, U.S. MARINES: Well, you know, Heidi, I think first off just in fairness to everything going on back in the United States and particularly in Haiti, just on behalf of all the U.S. servicemen and women, our condolences and prayers first off to all the people in Haiti on this current situation and obviously the relief effort.

COLLINS: That's right. Sorry, I was just going to say we do know that several U.S. Marines are headed there as we speak to help in those relief efforts. But obviously we are looking now at some video, I know that you cannot see it, of these Beanie Babies handed out to these children. Where did the idea came from?

MALER: Well, ma'am, the idea was we have several volunteer organizations from across the United States that have contacted us and said what can we do to be a part of this mission. And we have offered up recommendations from, as you see with the stuffed animals or school supplies, backpacks, clothes, you name it, a variety of items.

And these items are used every day by Marines and sailors in southern Afghanistan working with the Afghan forces, handing out these items really as the introduction of our forces to certain villages and compounds for the first time for some areas, first time they have ever seen an Afghan Army or Afghan National Police paired with, partnered with a Marine or a sailor in their region. So it's very rewarding, ma'am.

COLLINS: Yes. The story that I heard, because again we're looking at video that you might not be able to see, but we know that General James Amos was headed over to Afghanistan to check on how things are going there. He called the commanding general and said what do you need, what can I bring and the commanding general said Beanie Babies, sir.

So what happens is they hand out the Beanie Babies, the child goes and talks to the parent and says look at this great thing that I have and then the parent hopefully talks amongst that community, amongst the tribal leaders and says, you know, this is about the hearts and minds of this particular operation.

MALER: Yes, Heidi. And as you mentioned the hearts and minds aspect, really a motto that we use here in southern Afghanistan is mutual respect and cooperation. And from that similar, I think, to the comments with regards to hearts and minds is really we use this as an opportunity to get to know the population, because the population is our main effort.

It is the answer to the challenge that we face every day here in Afghanistan. And we are seeing victory after victory across the different cities and engagements we've had. COLLINS: Well, colonel, I know that you have actually taken part in this. I believe we're calling it Operation Delivering Smiles. What's it feel like when you're handing out the Beanie Babies and having that one-on-one contact with the kids?

MALER: Well, I think that's interesting, I'll give you an example. There's a village just to the south in my area. And the family, just to put it in context, the gentleman who's the lead elder in this village has 24 children.


MALER: Of those 24 children he has twin girls. The twin girls are six years old and just beautiful girls with kind of a reddish highlights in their hair. And I met them when I first got here on mission and handed them a few of these items and just the smile, I think that's one thing, Heidi, you have to appreciate and thank you, Rebecca, for your efforts, but you just have to appreciate that a toy or a gift to a child is universal joy.

So no matter what we're doing over here, when we present an item like this, it's something they don't have. And just to see their smile and their acceptance and the happiness on the face of that child is very rewarding for all of us.

COLLINS: Just one step and a very important one in what is going on in Afghanistan. We so appreciate your time, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Maler and all that you are doing and your service. And obviously again, as we move forward and watch Marines heading out to Haiti. Thank you once again for taking the time.

I want to get now to Rebecca Matthews because Rebecca is sort of on the other side of this story back in Washington where, OK, the general says we need Beanie Babies and we've got to get a whole bunch of them together and that is certainly what's happened. Rebecca, what's going on?

REBECCA MATTHEWS, MARINE AVIATION OFFICERS' SPOUSES' CLUB: Well, we were asked to come up with some Beanie Babies and all the ladies in the clubs in the area went to work and we were absolutely overwhelmed with the generous response from the public. We came up with 75,000 Beanie Babies.

COLLINS: 75,000 Beanie Babies.

MATTHEWS: 75,000.

COLLINS: How do you get them all over there? Is that a process as well?

MATTHEWS: Well, thank goodness. I don't have to do that. At the moment the Marines are ferrying the Beanie Babies over as space becomes available on the transport planes. So right now the Beanie Babies are competing with the fuel and the water and all the supplies that the Marines need, but because we had such a great response. COLLINS: Yes, well, that is truly amazing. Again, we're looking at some of these great still pictures there. General Amos helping to hand out those Beanie Babies to the kids. It really has become a priority and I know that the word spread very quickly. Now, I think the company actually stepped up and made some donations as well. What do you know about that?

MATTHEWS: Absolutely. We made a phone call to the Ty Corporation. Basically when we called they already knew what we were doing as far as the Marines using the Beanie Babies. They had seen pictures also and they were very generous and very gracious and offered up 48,000 of the Beanie Baby toys.


MATTHEWS: Basically without us even asking for it.

COLLINS: Wow. Very good, very good.

MATTHEWS: We were grateful.

COLLINS: Rebecca, if somebody wants to donate in order to get more of the Beanie Babies over there to Afghanistan and make even more of a difference here, how would they go about doing that?

MATTHEWS: Well, Heidi, right now, we've sort of stopped at the moment just because -

COLLINS: Because you've got too many.

MATTHEWS: We have too many. We have too many Beanie Babies at the moment. But as they ferry these over there and when the Marines need more, they're going to let us know and then we will start the collection again as it's needed.

COLLINS: Understood. All right. Operation delivering smiles, thanks for your help on all of it too.

Rebecca Matthews, out of D.C. this morning and once again Lieutenant Colonel Chris Maler coming to us from Afghanistan this morning. Thanks so much to the both of you.

We're going to take a quick break and we're back in a moment here in the CNN NEWSROOM.


COLLINS: It is a total disaster. A grim description from a food agency manager after a starving group rushed his bare offices in Port- au-Prince. Here are the latest developments from Haiti now. The Red Cross estimates between 45,000 and 50,000 people were killed in Tuesday's 7.0 earthquake. And distribution is still of course a major concern.

The capital's airport turned away civilian aid flights for eight hours yesterday because of a lack of space. The city's port heavily damaged, many roads impassable. Aircraft carrier "USS Carl Vinson" is scheduled to arrive today in Haiti. The carrier holds 19 helicopters. They will help aid workers get supplies to those people in need.

We are keeping a close watch on developments at the airport in Port-au-Prince. As our Jason Carroll reports, it's a scene of both chaos and relief.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There were two groups of people here at Port-au-Prince International Airport, hundreds of desperate trying to get out and the grateful few, like Danny Abraham's family who managed to escape on military airlifts.

DANNY ABRAHAM, AMERICAN EVACUEE: We lost our house. Thank god nobody was hurt. And we're trying to get them away.

CARROLL: Families with young children and the elderly given priority. Virginia Cary was hurt during the quake.

VIRGINIA CARY, AMERICAN EVACUEE: I knew I was going to pass out and I guess I did.

CARROLL: Cary and her husband, Lovel are 81 years old, both from Cleveland, Tennessee, here for a church conference.

And a wall collapsed on us, on the car, killed one of our men in the front. And we were in the back seat.

CARROLL (on camera): And so the plan is to get you on one of these planes and to get you out of here.

LOVEL CARY, AMERICAN EVACUEE: We hope. We hope. I hope I can find the man that's got our passports.

CARROLL (voice-over): Some confusion to be expected. Rescue crews saying this is still the early stage of the evacuation.

(on camera): Throughout the day there are a steady stream of planes coming here at the airport. They've got relief supplies. They're coming from all over the world, from Belgium, from Brazil, from Miami, from Spain, from Iceland, just about any place you can imagine.

What happens is as soon as they get those relief supplies off of the planes, then you've got evacuees who are sitting here at the airport anxiously awaiting to get on those flights.

When you have so many different countries trying to do what they can to help, how do you coordinate that?

LT. GEN. P.K. KEEN: It is a very difficult challenge and here is no difference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get separation. Get them on. I know it seems stupid. CARROLL (voice-over): Outside the airport, a crowd of those still trying to get out continues to grow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing works. So I wait.

CARROLL: So you wait.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I don't know how long it's going to be, but I'm going to wait.

CARROLL: Many here just as frustrated as the U.S. State Department representative who is trying to control the crowd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to have a security problem here if these people don't get in order.

CARROLL (on camera): Can you just tell us what information would you like to get out there, because people at the airports...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, because the situation is fluid, OK? What we have is these people are already here. We've got to try to deliver service to them.

CARROLL (voice-over): Many say they would rather stay here and take their chances instead of going back to the city where help still seems very far away.


COLLINS: Officials are calling this situation at the Port-au-Prince Airport a logistical nightmare as many people show up there wanting to leave but without even a passport.

And then the not knowing is often the hardest part of all of this. We here at CNN are making it our mission to try to connect you with your loved ones still unaccounted for in Haiti.

CNN's Betty Nguyen is a part of that. She is trying to gather a lot of information and also let everyone know where to go in order to try to connect. Hi there, Betty.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. There's a lot of information out there, so let's start with where people should go if they have missing loved ones in Haiti that they have not had contact with.

The first thing you can do is go to our main Web site page, On here there is a link right over here if you are looking for loved ones in Haiti. Or you can just simply go to

Now, when you click on that, it's going to take you to a page that looks just like this. It's the Missing Loved Ones page. And at the bottom, you will see we have 352 pages of pictures and names of people, information, where they were last seen. Now, if you are looking for someone in particular, you can go to this search bar up top here and type in a name, or you can just type in the word "found." What that will do is take you to a found page where we have 47 pages here of people who indeed have been found. These are great stories of entire families being found.

One person right here, she was found alive, the house was destroyed but that's okay, no doubt.

Here it's saying the entire Lamage (ph) family has been found. We've got names after names. This is a wonderful site where people have been able to go and see that their loved one indeed is alive.

Now, we have someone on the phone, her name is Muriel Joseph. I contacted her from this site indeed because I found a relative was found. She joins me by phone. Muriel, tell me, who were you looking for and how did you find them?

MURIEL JOSEPH, MISSING FAMILY MEMBER FOUND (via telephone): We were actually looking for my Uncle Carlos. They have an Internet portal at their house which they were able to communicate with us.

NGUYEN: That's wonderful. Here's the actual picture that I looked up at our Web site. This is a young fellow here. I don't have a name, it wasn't input. The information was not stored with a name here, but who is this guy, because I know that you were looking for him as well.

JOSEPH: This is Kizmo (INAUDIBLE) (ph), that is my cousin -- my uncle's son.

NGUYEN: And he too has been found alive.

JOSPEH: Yes, the entire family was okay. They were actually leaving their business when the earthquake hit.

NGUYEN: That is so great. So, this is an indication that indeed some places still have access to the Internet, correct?


NGUYEN: Okay, wonderful. I'm so happy to your family members were indeed found alive. And it's great, too, that you knew to go to this site and put that information up and then also update it once you got the call or the e-mail, I should say in this case, to let you know they are OK.

Because that's always very important for those that have found loved ones to go ahead and go into this site, and let us know. Update the site to let us know that your loved one has been found because there may be other relatives throughout the nation who are still wondering. So, this is a site that you truly are in control of. You upload the information, the pictures, where they were last seen and contact information.

Also, you get to upload the information that they indeed have been found. So, it's a wonderful resource, Heidi, and it's out there for everyone to use.

COLLINS: Very good, Betty, thank you.


COLLINS: Yesterday, we told you the story of one south Florida woman's desperate search. Her mother was in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday when the earthquake hit. And when we talked to Michaelle Titus yesterday on the air, she had not heard a word from her mother since the quake hit.


MICHAELLE TITUS, MOTHER MISSING IN HAITI: My husband is making plans to actually go there next week with a couple of our friends. Not only to try to get, you know, word of my mom but to try to help out with whatever situation they possibly can. But our hope is that we'll hear from her before then, and I'm hoping that this will help as well.


COLLINS: Ah. But this morning she has an update for us. Michaelle Titus joining me now on the phone from Miami.

Michaelle, I don't want to steal your thunder but by the smile on my face, people may already know the end of this story, but we want to hear it from you. What happened?

TITUS (via telephone): Thank you. We got a phone call from my mom. My mother called my dad, and she did advise him that she is okay. Apparently, there's a line that's set up where people go and call their families back home. They have a time frame of only two minutes...

COLLINS: It's so great. You must be completely overjoyed. We're looking at a picture of your mom right now on the screen. Just remind us real quickly, Michaelle. I know that she loves there for half of the year and that your parents have a home there in Haiti still, yes?

TITUS: Yes, they do. You know, we're just trying right now to get her back home.

COLLINS: Yes. Obviously, that is going to be the next challenge. But you must be so incredibly thankful. Any idea at this point how that might happen or what will happen next for your mom?

TITUS: Well, all we're hearing is that she has the opportunity. She can go to the airport, the Haitian embassy. Here in the United States our plan is to try to contact the airlines, the American embassy since she is an American citizen, to find out if we can expedite her flight back home.

COLLINS: Okay. How is she doing?

TITUS: Well, she is fine, but one of the things that we did find out also is that her home actually stood ground.

COLLINS: Wow, that is incredible.

TITUS: Exactly. It's not a huge home, it's probably a small two- story house. But it did withstand it -- thanks be to God that it did. However, she said she's not going back in there because she's afraid that it may fall, so she's sleeping outside.

COLLINS: Sure, like so many other people. Well, we are absolutely overjoyed for you, Michaelle, and thank you for sharing your story with us. Michaelle Titus coming to us out of Miami today. One of those success story that say we like to tell.

CNN is the place to be for updates on the Haiti earthquake and those relief efforts ongoing. Log on to our Web site, and there you'll find a list of agencies providing emergency relief. You will also see a "find your loved ones" module. This is what we've been talking about this morning with the State Department's toll-free number and also a link to the iReport "looking for loved ones" photo gallery.

Doctors overwhelmed in Haiti, working under the worst conditions, but still making a difference.


COLLINS: Time now to look at other top stories that we're following.

Massachusetts might see Republicans grab the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. GOP candidate Scott Brown now running neck-in-neck with Martha Coakley. One week ago, Democrats had a clear lead. The special election is four days away.

More information now on a threat to the U.S. from al Qaeda. It comes from the investigation into the Christmas Day attempted airplane bombing. A source tells CNN al Qaeda in Yemen has trained and equipped operatives to strike U.S. targets. The federal officials say there is no imminent threat.

Who can forget the miracle on the Hudson? Exactly one year ago, we saw that U.S. Airways plane in the river after geese had flown into both engines. All 155 people aboard survived, and today many of them are getting together in New York to meet with their rescuers and to celebrate.

A closer look now at the medical staffs rushing in to help the people of Haiti. Our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is traveling with some of the doctors, and here's what they're finding.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, two, three.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A moment to celebrate. After eight hours of waiting, this group of doctors from the University of Miami finally made it in to help save lives in Haiti. I accompanied them on the flight in.

No one was happier to see these physicians than Dr. Enrique Ginsberg, who had been working in this makeshift hospital near the airport for two days.

(on camera): So, last night, you had three doctors for how many patients?


COHEN: Three doctors for 250 patients. Are you kidding me?

Let me show you around this makeshift hospital in a tent. The screams of the woman that you're hearing right now -- she's six months pregnant and during the earthquake, a boulder fell on her stomach and now she's miscarrying.

This little boy over here, he has a bleed in his brain. The doctors say he hasn't been conscious since he arrived here, and they don't think there's very much that he can do for him. You hear children crying, you hear orphans crying through the night, "Mommy, mommy."

(voice-over): Dr. Ginsberg gives the Florida doctors an assessment on each patient.

GINSGERG: She also has the pelvic fracture, I think. We need one person to change the dressings on this child. We need an IV on this girl.

COHEN (on camera): Now, the new doctors will help, but there is a limit to what they can do. And that's because they're missing even the most basic of supplies. For example, when they do amputations, they don't have general anesthesia, so they cut off the limb while the person is still awake. One doctor I talked to calls it "Civil War medicine."

(voice-over): In all this pain, in all this trauma, there is one bright light and his name is Reggie.

(on camera): This little boy just came out of the rubble two hours ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just came out, just came out. His grandmother, his brother and two of his cousins.

COHEN: And they were all dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were all dead.

COHEN: How did he live for more than two days all alone crushed under dead bodies?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm telling you, that's God. That's the only thing I can say. That's God. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Wow. Elizabeth Cohen joining us now live from Port-au- Prince. Elizabeth, what seems to be the biggest fear there now?

COHEN: Heidi, I'll tell you right at this moment, things are relatively calm at this hospital. They have had about 250 people come through here and three fatalities, so that's a pretty good rate.

However, the biggest fear is that septicemia, a blood-borne infection that can kill you very rapidly, will set in in the next two or three days. It takes about five days from the time of a wound until the time septicemia starts. We're getting into five days from the earthquake. A lot of fears that people are going to start dying in the next couple of days.

COLLINS: Yes, I imagine it's got to be terrifying for everybody. Elizabeth, can you give us sort of an assessment, at least just from where you are, about antibiotics and medicines that are either coming in or are still desperately needed?

COHEN: Heidi, that's a great question. They have oral antibiotics. They don't have IV antibiotics. That is a big deal because almost all these people have huge, gaping wounds, and they are desperate to get some IV antibiotics to give to these people.

The other big problem here is they can't do surgery, they don't have general anesthesia. As I said, they're doing amputations under local anesthesia. I just watched one just five minutes ago.

What they really need here is operating facilities because, again, without an operating room you can't clean these huge wounds. If you can't clean these huge wounds, infection and insepticemia (ph), which is an infection that can go to the heart, can set in.

COLLINS: Yes, understood. All right. Keep us posted. Elizabeth Cohen in Port-au-Prince. Thanks, Elizabeth.

We know that many of you are looking forward to the weekend. Tell us you're not going to rain on our parade now, are you, Rob Marciano? Because a lot of people have been complaining here in the U.S. about freezing cold weather for a really long time. It's about time to give them some good news, is it not?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: When you say a lot of people, are you speaking of yourself or...

COLLINS: Hundreds of thousands. I would never do that. I would never complain.

MARCIANO: No, you wouldn't, and that's one of the things that we're going to miss about you, Heidi, is your lack of ever, ever complaining, and in my case...

COLLINS: Oh, bring it, bring it. Come on, Marciano, bring it. MARCIANO: It's a sad day. Ten minutes from now, Heidi is signing off from CNN, and we're all going to miss you, that's for sure.

COLLINS: Thank you, Rob.

MARCIANO: On top of that, it's going to rain tomorrow, Heidi, here in Atlanta. I'm sorry about that. Enjoy your first day off with, you know, maybe a nice book or movie because that's going to be the call.

Some of the rain could very well be flooding rain and maybe some severe thunderstorms as well, but not all of the country will endure that. We'll run down the forecast in just a few minutes.


COLLINS: Let's take a look at the Big Board for you now. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is not doing great things today. That's for sure on a Friday. Just a few minutes ago, I saw it down triple digits so resting at 10,611. We'll continue to watch those numbers for you throughout the morning.

Head back over to Rob Marciano standing by in the Severe Weather Center to talk more about the weather across the country. Hey there, Rob.


MARCIANO: And for my friend, personal friend here and colleague, Heidi Collins...

COLLINS: I think you just left everybody with the impression a minute ago that you hate me, so I'm glad you cleared that up.

MARCIANO: No, no...

COLLINS: Because I did learn about the complaining directly from...

MARCIANO: If you can't complain to people you care about, who can you complain to?

COLLINS: That's right. And all of our friends at home love to hear is complain. All right, Rob. Thank you.

MARCIANO: And a good ride, Heidi.

COLLINS: We'll talk later. Thanks a lot.

U.S. families who are adopting in Haiti are waiting and wondering when they can bring their children home. A Michigan family recently received word the boy and girl they are adopting were not hurt in the earthquake.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PAUL BRINKS, ADOPTED HAITIAN CHILDREN: A huge burden lifted. You know, just this huge weight, you know, where you kind of could get your breath.

MARISA BRINKS, ADOPTED HAITIAN CHILDREN: We've had pictures of them. We've seen them, had time to bond. We kind of get to know their smiles that we see in the photographs, you know, and so they're in our hearts all the time.


COLLINS: Paul and Marissa Brinks say they were expecting to bring the first child home in a month. Now, like many families, they don't know if the earthquake will slow down the adoption process or actually speed it up.

Thousands of people in Haiti, though, still missing, including some Americans. Desperate family members here in the U.S. are struggling to find any information they can about their loved ones. Some are filing iReports in hopes that will help with their search. Take a look at this.


CYNTHIA KIVLAND, IREPORTER: I'd like to tell you about my daughter, Chelsea, who is currently in Haiti. Chelsea is 30 years old. She's a doctoral student at the University of Chicago. She's a brilliant young woman who's becoming a scholar in Haitian studies.

And I've learned a lot about my daughter in this crisis. How much she is loved by her professors and the people and the people that she's met in Haiti. And they have reached out and are doing their darnest to find her. Whoever is watching this video, if you know anything about my daughter, Chelsea, it would be great to hear from you or just have your prayers.



CARMELLA DELERME, IREPORTER: My name is Judy (ph) and I live here in Atlanta, but my father is in Haiti right now off of Taba, which is not too far from the U.S. embassy. My father, Josias (INAUDIBLE), he is down there with his -- well, my baby sister, and she's seven years old and her name is Priska Dorsey (ph).

And -- just looking for any information out there about those two. I had a little glimpse of hope when I called probably two hours ago and the phone actually rang, but it just kept ringing. But no one answered the phone.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm posting this message because I'm in a search of my sister, Juanita (ph). Please let her know that I love her. We all love her and we're waiting for her phone call.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via telephone): I'm looking for my family members, my aunts, my mom's two younger sisters, and also their children who are located in Carfu (INAUDIBLE). My mom is worried, crying all day, and I'm just trying to keep her calm.

Haitian people are strong people. You know, even though people talk about how we're the poorest country on earth and our literacy rate is low, but we are a strong people, and we will make it through this.


COLLINS: CNN is the place to be for updates on the Haiti earthquake and relief efforts. Just log on to, and there you will find a list of agencies providing emergency relief. You'll also see a link to iReport called "looking for loved ones" photo gallery.

I'm Heidi Collins. And before we leave you today, I'd like to take a really short second to say goodbye to you. I will be leaving CNN after nearly eight years of broadcasting to you from out in the field and from pretty much every anchor chair that exists at the network.

Somehow, though, you at home have been gracious enough to find me where I landed, and you took the time to watch. I appreciate that very much.

Here I go with the cheesy again. Without a doubt it's you, the viewers, that I will miss the most.

We will be back, though, with much, much important things in the world, like what is happening in Haiti. We'll get you to that after a quick break right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.