CNN Senior Executive Producer
I’ve never heard Dr. Sanjay Gupta despair. Which is why it was so upsetting to hear him last night on AC360. Here’s what he told Anderson.
“I feel a little hopeless,” said Sanjay. “And I hate saying that. I just hate feeling that way.” What to do when you start to lose hope is a critical question almost everyone confronts at one time or another.
Sanjay, and through him, many of us, are feeling hopeless after witnessing so many preventable deaths.
He had just finished a story on two Haitian doctors, twin brothers, who’ve been trying to save life after life at their hospital. But they don’t even have enough supplies to dress a child’s wound without causing severe pain. And there’s no place to send the injured even when they can be saved.
Sanjay had also just finished a story on what’s become a hallmark injury in Haiti – crush injuries. He explains how a crushed muscle can break down and release particles into the bloodstream which can cause kidney failure. A lack of supplies means amputation after amputation that would be unnecessary with the right medicine and equipment.
Our newsgathering teams have found enough inspiring stories of individual commitment in Haiti to fill a large reservoir of hope. But the reservoir can get drained by the sheer scale of suffering. Anderson captured it last night with these words:
: “…if you're a doctor or you're a nurse,” said Anderson, “load up a suitcase with whatever you got and just come down, because no matter where you go, I mean there are public parks with people performing surgery...”
In other words, Haiti is like a giant hospital waiting room without the hospital. The waiting is killing people.
No wonder Sanjay said last night “I feel a little hopeless.”
No wonder he told Anderson “I just simply can’t understand.”
We know that hopelessness can lead to paralysis.
So I was encouraged when I woke up this morning, checked my CNN email, and read about the story Sanjay would pursue today.
He and his producer, Danielle Dellorto, and CNN photojournalist Jonathan Schaer, were setting out for the Port-Au-Prince airport, to examine the pallets of relief supplies and try to figure out what might be preventing those supplies from getting to the survivors more quickly – to determine whether there might be a way to speed things up.
Last night Sanjay was feeling a sense of hopelessness.
He and his team woke up with purpose.
A few moments ago I got word that Gupta’s team has just left the airport with new insights.
They will soon report on what they learned today about the moving parts of the relief operation – and how it might better serve the sprawling emergency waiting room of Haiti.
Their purpose is to help us all understand more than we did yesterday.
There is hope.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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