CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
War in Iraq: Family Reunion
Aired April 6, 2003 - 06:16 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Let's talk about Jessica Lynch right now. The family of that rescued Army private arrived in Germany early this morning. Lynch is being treated at a military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany for injuries she received after being captured by Iraqi forces.
Let's go back to Landstuhl, Germany and CNN's Matthew Chance. He has an update for us now.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Carol.
This is one story of amazing heroics that is still very much unfolding. The focus of it, though, has shifted from Iraq to here in Germany and the Landstuhl Region Medical Center of the U.S. Army, the hospital where Private Jessica Lynch is being treated and is recovering from her multiple injuries.
It's also the place where, we're told, over the course of the last few hours that she has been reunited, finally, with her family members, her mother and father, her brother and sister and a cousin, who flew in from Charleston, West Virginia, via Washington, D.C., into the Ramstein U.S. Air Force Base, just a short distance, a few miles from this Landstuhl medical facility, in the early hours of this morning.
U.S. military officials, though, saying that there will be no media access to the family at this stage. And they're stressing that it is an intensely private time for Private Lynch and for her family to get reacquainted and to -- and to greet each other in the appropriate way after such an ordeal, really, both parties have gone through.
But really there is a great deal of interest about what Private Lynch will have to say, because remember she is just 19 years old and it is not entirely clear exactly how she, first of all, fell into the hands of Iraqi forces and indeed how she was treated while she was in the custody of the Iraqi forces. She's said to have sustained quite serious injuries. We understand that she has received many broken bones. Both her legs are said to be broken, as well as her right arm and an ankle. She's also said to have injuries to her back and lacerations to her face.
There were initial reports that she'd received gunshot wounds. That was later dismissed by the medical authorities here. Some confusion has come up about this, though. U.S. military officials saying that they have now found gunshot wounds that were not located earlier. But we are expecting a statement later on in the day which will you know clarify the exact condition of or the exact nature of her injuries later on today. So we'll bring you -- that to you as soon as we have it -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Yes, you mention you know she is just 19 years old, and to have gone through all of this you have to wonder what's happening to her psychologically. They keep saying that she's in good spirits and she's upbeat. Do you have an update to that and is that a reason why her family was flown in to be with her to help her with this psychological problem she may be having?
CHANCE: Yes, certainly that's got to be a problem. I mean you know you're right, she is only a teenager, just 19 years old. They haven't dwelt much, the medical officials that have been talking to the media about her psychological condition, but clearly this is an issue.
I think what brings this into sharper focus as well is the fact that Private Lynch's dog tags were located in Iraq at the house -- at the office, rather, of a senior Baath Party official in Iraq. One of our embedded journalists reported that to CNN earlier on on this day in Iraq. And that really raises some questions about the way Private Lynch was treated while she was in Iraqi custody, whether the injuries she sustained were sustained during the ambush or whether they were sustained later. There are a lot of unanswered questions about her treatment in Iraqi custody and the conditions of her custody that perhaps only Jessica herself will be able to answer. That's why many people around the world are eagerly awaiting her comments.
COSTELLO: Yes, because we don't know what route she took to that hospital. Was she ever physically in the home of that Baath Party leader? We just don't know the answer to those questions right now.
Matthew Chance, many thanks to you.
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