January 26th, 2010
09:59 PM ET

'It's just survival'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/26/haitiansinline.jpg]

Dr. Sanjay Gupta | BIO
AC360° Contributor
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

A couple of days ago, a man was stoned to death about a block from where we are staying in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I
have been down here nearly two weeks covering the earthquake devastation, having arrived quickly the morning after it occurred. I didn’t see the stoning myself, but several of my colleagues described a man who had been trying to steal money and was met with swift and deadly citizen justice. A lot was made of this particular tragedy, and if you caught only that headline, you might be left believing the incident was in some way emblematic of what was happening all over the place. Truth is, even though I braced myself to see rampant lawlessness and mob hostility, I wanted to blog about what I have actually seen.

As I drove through the streets of Port-au-Prince, just 16 hours after the earthquake, I was met with stunned stares and unfathomable grief, as parents tried to dig their babies out of the rubble and older kids did the same for their parents. It was heartbreaking. And though we raced out with our first aid bags to help those we could, it seemed like we would never be able to make a dent in the suffering. There were people who died in this earthquake and those who lived – but there were also a large number of people somehow caught in between. They were alive, but terribly injured and dying. That is where we focused our attention. Terrible crush injuries of arms and legs. Degloving injuries, where the skin of the arms or legs was ripped away. And, people so malnourished and dehydrated that they could barely walk.

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Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Haiti Earthquake
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. simon field

    I am watching amanpour on Haiti. She is asking about Haitians abroad assisting with the recovery. I have been managing the UNDP response to the Aceh Tsunami since 2005. In the case of Aceh, Achenese throughout Indonesia and the world responded are are still assisting. they left very successful positions in Jakarta and elsewhere but they were drwan by the need to assist their brothers and sisters. after five years they are still here, providing critical assistance for civil society, government and communities. Their understanding of Aceh has been critical of UNDP and many donor successes in Aceh and sustaining that response. haiti requires the same support.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  2. Kathy, Andover

    The Haitians are amazing people.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:36 am |
  3. Suzi

    Proud of your efforts my brothers & sisters.

    January 26, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  4. Stacey

    Anderson, thank you for giving a voice to the proud people of Haiti. I spent five months in Haiti in '97 and it changed me forever. I witnessed both profound strength and numbing violence while in Haiti. I went to Haiti wanting to "change the world". Wakeup call.
    Hope your kreyol is coming along. Chita pa bay!

    January 26, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  5. nhong

    Thank God for Dr. Gupta... he has done a phenomenal job in Haiti. More power to you....

    January 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm |
  6. Marie Lise Lubin

    My brothers and sisters in Haiti and the diaspora are

    all thanking you for the quake coverage, CNN is the best.

    Keep up the good work. God bless you.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  7. Ingrid Enson

    Why is Isreal the only country in Haiti with M.A.S.H. units set up? The Israli's traveled across the world to get there and the US is so close.
    Are we planning on sending any M.A.S.H. units from the US?

    January 26, 2010 at 6:42 pm |