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January 25th, 2010
09:03 PM ET

Seniors in Haiti no longer alone

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent


Last week, I reported an incredibly sad story about a nursing home in Haiti that was destroyed.

Six residents were killed. Seventy-four survived, but they were living outdoors under the hot sun, on soiled mattresses. Many were wearing diapers that hadn't been changed; some people had no clothes on at all. They all had swarms of flies all over their faces and bodies. There was almost no food or water.

The nursing home director was there, but only one doctor made sporadic visits, and he had no medicine. Well, we paid a visit there this weekend, and I'm pleased to say that after our story, the International Red Cross and Haitian Red Cross set up a headquarters under a tent next to the seniors.

The volunteers will stay at the site, and have provided the seniors with food, water, medicine, and a huge tarp that gives them shelter in the rain. It is still a pitifully sad situation, but these old folks are no longer alone.


Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Haiti Earthquake
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Roberta Cruz

    What a wonderful commentary to such a sad story. Thanks for keeping us informed! You are an angel!

    January 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  2. M. Bresilla

    Anderson:

    For what you have done for the Haitian people in reporting the news since the earthquate and throughout, you have shown that we, the viewers, can depend on a few good journalists; you, Dr. Sanjay and other reporters from CNN have each shown your uniqueness in exercising professionalism yet connecting with all of us through human compassion – you have certainly inspired me and citizens of the world at-large. Haiti and Haitians as they recover and succeed are forever indebted to you and the CNN Team!

    You have given me reasons to appreciate the news through your distinguished reporting despite the unbearable tragedy in Haiti. You have placed each viewer in the core skin of each victim (rescued and non), given each family hope, consolation and a presense that we can vividly feel as if we're physically there – though we're miles/world away. THANK YOU!

    Your work will never be forgotten in Haiti and by all Haitians who appreciate talented, distinguished journalists. During the darkness, you have brilliantly shined and aldo shed light to all who had little knowledge about Haiti and its years of Martyrs. THANK YOU!

    The echoes of the cries, the pain, the despair, the silenced dead, the wounded rescued, the unaccounted victimes, the resignation all of us feel – you have consistently transmitted them to pierce our hearts, and lift up our desires to DO SOMETHING – THANK YOU!

    Your interactions, your exchanges, your persistence and ability to stay collected in a land where your safety and health are at risk can only be applauded as a Hero for the Haitians throughout the world, thank you for being such a noble journalist. As you continue to bring us the images and find the stories meaningful to trigger inspiration for all, acquire HELP from all for those forever burried, victimized without voices – THANK YOU!

    Since Peter Jennings' death (ABC anchor), I lost faith in the news as I enjoyed watching him and learning from his gifted and eloquent reporting. The world lost a good man, Peter Jennings. I still miss his reporting. Until recently, I have found in you reasons to watch the news again, CNN is blessed to have you and the hardworking team that have embraced world causes, Haiti being one of them.

    Hats off to you and the CNN Team; continued success in Haiti, return home safely and continue to teach us the world issues. A friend once told me that "history is how the historian tells it". I have no doubt you will be recognized in History books on Haiti as a hero and one who have, despite Haiti's history, helped give birth to its future success I trust we will all taste some day because of how you told its story, illustrated its pains and helped gather the world to LIFT IT UP.

    I'll never forget the rush you made to grab the little boy bleeding to help sustain him. Thank you. On behalf of all Haitians in Haiti and throughout the world, thank you. Keep safe while you continue your great reporting in Haiti and everywhere else you will echo to the world past, current and future issues we need to learn about.

    THANK YOU – Anderson Cooper!

    Marie Bresilla (Massachusetts)

    January 25, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  3. Patricia L

    Proof that prayers are answered...I know I am not the only one after seeing that report...that could not get those people out of my mind .. We must to continue to pray as a nation ...that is power...thank you

    January 25, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  4. Brennan

    Thank you, a humane response to a tragic story.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  5. Paula Land

    A colleague of mine pointed out this report to me. My heart goes out to the elderly who have also suffered through this tragic devastation. My hat goes off to Gary Tuchman and the relief aids who are assisting these individuals who don't have anyone else to speak for them.

    My hope is they will not be forgotten as the days, weeks, and months continue to take its toll on this city. Thanks to all that you do. I only wish we at home could do more to help.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  6. Buddy

    If it wasn't for Anderson Cooper and CNN, these seniors and alot more people would have not been recognized and just died. CNN is the best, humane and thoughtful news station, always the first to help. Thank you!!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  7. Malika

    Wow! this is great news.I am so happy to hear that,I was so worried about them.Thank you for reporting and thank you for the help. May God bless you guys

    January 25, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  8. Diane Nederveld

    I have been following the Haiti disaster since day one and have donated to help, but I would like to do more. Is it possible to send a care box of large tent, water purification tablets, freeze dried food, candles, (basically camping items) to people there? We have a tent that will house 8-10 people and would like to help. Please let me know. Thank you.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  9. VanessaTX

    This is a great follow up, Gary! Thank goodness your story helped them. Great reporting, Gary!

    January 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  10. Toebin

    Thanks for the update Mr Tuchman. It's great to see that there has been some follow up on the most neediest in Haiti. With so many in need it's got to be hard, and I'm sure a lot fall through the cracks.

    I'm glad these elderly didn't.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  11. Tory in Georgia

    As a nurse, I really wanted to go to these seniors because of your reporting, but could not find help with a plane.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  12. Sioma Alcantara

    Thank God!!!! that story broke my heart. Keep up your great work, I try to watch AC360 every night but at times i just can't stop crying and thinking " My God we have everything, we take so many things for granted....and we complain and complain" I never heard or saw once that girl 'B" that was rescued form the rubbles complain, not even once!!!!! So may God Bless you all and of course once again the job that all of you are doing is priceless!!!!

    Any updates on the four american studfents and the two professors who were in the Montana Hotel???

    January 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  13. Mayo from Spain

    THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. I've cried while reading this. Please make sure that this assistance is not temporary. Everyone loves children but nobody remembers senitors. YOU'RE THE BEST HELP THEY HAVE THERE.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  14. Gabriela

    Thank you guys for following this Stories and for been able to make the difference for all this people, keep doing the amazing job please, don´t leave Haiti alone, they still need all the help you can give!
    Greetings from Nicaragua.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  15. Marilyn Tbeur

    Mr Anderson, it was a sad sight to see those elderly people from a nursing home in such a situation! I believe many people in this world do not take good care of the elderly, and at times they are forgotten. I have 0 tolorence for people who neglect the elderly! I am so happy they are no longer alone. I hope pretty soon, the situation improves in Haiti, especially for the children and the elderly. I know it's going to take a very long time before things get back to normal and better, but the TOP PRIORITY should be the children and the elderly! Thank you so much for your continued excellent reports. Be safe, and may God bless you, your crew, and the people of Haiti!

    Marilyn Tbeur, KC MO

    January 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  16. Marilyn Tbeur

    Mr Anderson, it was a sad sight to see those elderly people from a nursing home in such a situation! I believe many people in this world do not take good care of the elderly, and at times they are forgotten. I have 0 tolorence for people who neglect the elderly! I am so happy they are no longer alone. I hope pretty soon, the situation improves in Haiti, especially for the children and the elderly. I know it's going to take a very long time before things get back to normal and better, but the TOP PRIORITY should be the children and the elderly! Thank you so much for your continued excellent reports. Be safe, and may God bless you, your crew, and the people of Haiti!

    Marilyn Tbeur, KC MO

    January 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  17. Joan Batty

    I am so glad to hear that there are volunteers that are currently available to help take care of the senior citizens that were displaced when their nursing home was destroyed. I hope CNN continues to follow this story since these indivduals need to be provided housing at some point. There has been alot of attention given to the children who have lost their parents but something needs to be done to make sure that the senior citizens are taken care of as well.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  18. kerry

    Keep doin what u guys r doin over there! U are saving lives.defintely one of my favorite reporters!

    January 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  19. Jodie

    I am so happy to hear this even though as you stated, Anderson, it is still a far cry from where they need to be. This particular story was extremely sad to me as I have a young son who is wheelchair bound with cerebral palsy and the images of the disabled among the seniors broke my heart.
    With so much aid flooding in people assume that it will immediately get to those who need it most without taking into consideration not only the lack of infrastructure (including damage to all lines of communication in an already poor and rural country) but the massive area involved. There are more than 10 million people living in Haiti, a country consisting of 10, 714 sq miles, with more than 1 million people living in Port Au Prince alone. So many in need that we have yet to find. Especially those were already forgotten in everyday life. However the highlight of this piece is that they were seen through your lens and heard through your words and that was probably a major contributing factor to them being recognized and helped. THAT is journalism at its best. Keep up the good work.

    January 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  20. valerie bonnema

    I am so happy to see that some care and thought has been given to the seniors. I used to work in an assisted living facility and it broke my heart to see the elderly Haitians in such sad circumstances.
    Hopefully more help is on the way.

    January 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  21. C. C.

    This story makes me feel just a tiny bit better about Haiti. Thank you for reporting this.

    January 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  22. Adelaide

    I was heartbroken when I read your report about these seniors; thank God for the little comfort they have received so far. As you write: "It is still a pitifully sad situation, but these old folks are no longer alone".

    January 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  23. Maxine

    So glad to learn that the nursing home seniors were not ignored. If I were ever in that fragile situation, I would hope someone would be there to help. Great reporting. Take care.

    January 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  24. Dee

    Thank you so much for drawing attention to this!!! This was just too sad – beyond words. I was incredibly disturbed by it , but I'm so glad you brought it to everyone's attention.

    It is so terrible to see childern in bad circumstances, but I think in the back of your mind, you always think that they have their whole life ahead of them & that they will get the opportunities to get out of whatever situation they are in – that's what you hope for anyway. When you elderly people like this, the only thing that you feel is a lot of sympathy. They are entitled to dignity – having lived their life, so they deserve to part from this World as comfortable & as happy as possible. They are helpless – completly fragile, & dependent upon others, like small babies are.

    My Grandad had a stroke years ago & one half of his body never fully recovered after it, although he lived on for many years. His brain was perfect & he was an incredibly intelligent Man, so it was so hard to see him get annoyed over simple things, things that most people take for granted, like misjudging the width of his own body, so this kind of strikes a cord with me. Most people will grow old one day also, so making these people as comfortable as possible, is a duty that should be recipocated eventually – in a dignified World anyway.

    Thanks for letting us know what happened. I really appreciate it! Thanks to the Red Cross also. At least we know they will be looked after now. It must of been some ordeal for them.

    January 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  25. Pam

    That's great, Gary! Your reporting has been just wonderful – so many stories that are both heartbreaking and heartwarming by turns. I loved the story about the 109 year old blind woman – what she must have experienced in her life only to come to this at that stage of life! And yet she can still laugh. I'm glad these elderly folks have someone looking out for them now – you are all making such a difference, though I'm sure it must be hard when there is so much need there right now. It is important work. Thank you.

    January 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  26. Renee

    Thanks Gary! You're the best!

    I enjoy seeing your daughter on NYE running with you too! It is nice to see such a nice team!

    January 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  27. Maria H-Miami

    Anderson, thank you, thank you. Please keep checking on these Seniors to make sure this is not temporary attention they are receiving and then will be forgotten. My heart aches for these people.

    January 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
  28. Tamara Randi

    Thank goodness. Keep up the good work.

    January 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  29. Ginny

    Thank you for following up. There aren't many news stories that keep me awake at night, but this one did.

    January 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  30. Kalli Everhart

    OH thank goodness. Those poor people, so sad!! I'm glad to hear that they are at least now getting food, water and some shelter and they weren't totally forgotten.

    January 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  31. Michele

    Please send assistance to the nuns at the Convent of St. Joseph de Cluny at # 133 Avenue John Brown in the Lalue neighborhood.

    January 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  32. Lillian Carilo

    God Bless you Gary Tuchman. Seeing smiles on CNN reporters' faces again after so many days of pain and grieving for the citizens of Haiti, have put a smile on my face. God Bless all of you who continue bringing us this story of utmost importance. ~ L. Carilo

    January 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  33. Gale

    Thankyou. Anderson Cooper...God Bless you

    January 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  34. Molly

    Glad to see that things are looking up a little for the nursing home patients. I'm sure the report last week was instrumental in the help that came their way. It is so sad. Most likely, these people worked hard their entire lives. In their final years of life, they have nothing to look forward to. Maybe now they'll get their needs met.

    January 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  35. Jane

    Glad to see that especially in response to this Haitian emergency that Cnn news reports are not just being watched, but responded to.

    January 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  36. Joseph Jules

    Good job I am sure they will be praying for you

    January 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  37. Susan

    I saw that, heart wrenching it was, so it's fantastic that help has finally arrived for these seniors – it must seem a godsend to them!

    January 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  38. Jackie Carter

    Progress....YES!!
    thanks to all the CNN reporters..

    January 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  39. Vivian

    Great job Gary! Your story focused on an area that somehow never even crossed our minds during an earthquake.... nursing homes for the eldery. Hats off to you! Great reporting.

    January 25, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  40. Patricia

    That's great news! You all are doing an awesome job in Haiti and I'm sure Haitian people will always be more than grateful for the help. God bless you ^_^!

    January 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  41. William

    thank you for doin the story for those seniors anderson by you doing that u have saved more lives there in haiti and you have made a big time fan out of me. keep up with ur awesome reporting and ill be watching you on cnn.

    January 25, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  42. LK

    it's all about communications. Thank you for the update.

    January 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  43. Trish

    Awesome news! I have been wondering about them since your news report. Good job!

    January 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  44. Charmaine

    This is great to hear an update and see that some help has arrived. There but for fortune go all of us.

    January 25, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  45. Cindy

    Thanks for the update Gary! I am glad that the senior citizens finally got the help and looking after that they deserve. I hope it continues!

    Cindy..Ga.

    January 25, 2010 at 12:16 pm |