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Heroes Saving Haiti

Aired January 30, 2010 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey again from Port-au-Prince. I'm Anderson Cooper. Welcome to CNN HEROES SAVING HAITI, a 360 Special.

As the title suggests, this hour combines our best reporting from our time here with a special focus on the people making a big difference on the ground, newly-minted heroes as well as some past CNN Heroes you may remember. Two have shifted their regular efforts to the work that's so badly needs doing in Haiti right now. One was already here. He's doing that much more. We're going to meet all three in just a moment.


We begin with the people moving mountains to save lives, some from around the world, many from right here. They've been reaching into the rubble and racing the clock to bring people back into the light. All of this with rubble piles shifting, aftershocks hitting and the sad fact sinking in that not everyone can be saved.


COOPER (voice-over): Amidst the rubble and ruin, heroes have risen. At first it was Haitians left on their own. Untrained, unskilled, sometimes with bloody bare hands, these Haitian heroes dug through concrete and chaos to save loved ones or strangers trapped beneath.

Bee (ph) was saved by her family and friends. Phillip was pulled out injured but alive.

PHILLIP (PH), EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR (through translator): The main gate fell on us, he says. A cinder block fell on my head. My arm and leg are broken.

COOPER: In the heat and the horror, Haiti's heroes kept at it with chisels and saws, their sweat and their tears. This little girl was finally freed, but no doctors could see her and she died of her wounds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sarah, can you hear me?

COOPER: More were saved when professional search-and-rescue teams arrived, brave men and women and their highly trained dogs. These heroes of Haiti came from around the world, they tunneled and dug, they faced the threat of death. COOPER (on camera): What they're doing right now is painstakingly difficult and dangerous. It - it's like moving around pieces of jigsaw puzzle, but a jigsaw puzzle that can fall on top of you and kill you or - or crush the person you're - you're trying to save. They have to be very careful about what blocks they've removed and in what order they remove them.

COOPER (voice-over): They called and they listened for any sign of life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey (ph), we hear somebody.

COOPER: They saved so many against impossible odds.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have worked hard together, all - all the staff and - and we are very happy. It's very emotional.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think anything surprises me anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you feeling right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unbelievable. I just want to hug my compadre, Dario Gomez. This is unbelievable.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're getting it (ph).


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got them (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to remember you all time, and your names and your faces, they're going be in our memory forever.

COOPER: The searches have now given way to recovery. The hope of finding life is slim. But remember these faces, these brave men and women. They risked their lives so that others would live.


COOPER (on camera): We've seen so many people do amazing work. Well, joining me now are Gretchen and Andrew Wallace. They came from New Hampshire. As soon as they heard about the earthquake, they just basically dropped everything and came.

Gretchen's sort of become a one-woman switchboard for people back in the States trying to get a word to and word about loved ones here.

Guys, I appreciate you both being with us. You're both doing a lot of work up at the Montana Hotel, and certainly there's a lot of work that needs to be done. What is it like for you? I mean, you gave up everything just to come down here. What's the experience been like?

GRETCHEN WALLACE, VOLUNTEER AT HOTEL MONTANA: For me it's been, you know, in the beginning it was - it was really heart-wrenching because there's so much that you want to do and you almost feel helpless. But very quickly we found ways that we could be useful. As things transition we just jump in wherever we can be helpful.

COOPER: You do this kind of work here with a - a group called Global Grassroots?

G. WALLACE: Global Grassroots.

COOPER: You worked a lot in Africa. And what has this been like for you? I mean, up at the Montana, you know, there may be as many as 60 people still - still buried inside, maybe as many as 17 Americans. It's got to be - I mean it's extraordinarily difficult work.

ANDREW WALLACE, VOLUNTEER RESCUE WORKER: It's definitely life changing. I had no idea what I was coming into, you know, in terms of the destruction. And I've never - I'm not a search-and-rescue trained individual, but I figured you don't really need to be trained in moving rubble and, you know, clearing debris. So I've been kind of filling voids in that.

COOPER: How, I mean, you - the incredible thing you're doing is really a liaison with a lot of the families who come to the Montana and also families who can't be there. What do you want them to know? I mean, there's families who aren't able to make the trip.

We talked to one woman last - last night who's waiting to hear about her dad. What - what do you tell them?

G. WALLACE: I think what's really important for them to know is that the teams working on site are doing everything that they can to be able to find everyone that's been missing there and ensure that they are brought home with integrity, and that's really important there.

COOPER: It - it is remarkable when you - I mean, I went up to the site yesterday, just the dignity that everybody wants to bring to - to the people that they are retrieving.

G. WALLACE: Absolutely.

COOPER: And I - I mean, that's hugely important. Because elsewhere in Port-au-Prince, I mean, you know, people are basically disappearing and it's - obviously there isn't that same level, but the - really, the Montana, you guys are doing an amazing job on that.

G. WALLACE: They - we know that there's need everywhere and I really respect the work especially that the Army Corps of Engineers is doing up there right now.

COOPER: It's really difficult. I mean, it's a difficult site up there and in all over. In a lot of cases, you're dealing not only with aftershocks, but - and the Montana, I mean, there's no, you know, it's on a - it's on a mountain. It's on a basically a hillside so - so there's nowhere to kind of maneuver around.

A. WALLACE: You kind of look for your - many aftershocks that hit, you kind of look for little places that you don't want to be under. It's still a little chilling, you know, I mean, looking around - for me, you know, and you feel the ground shake in the morning or occasionally on the hill, you know, around the area there, and it's a - it's a very strange feeling.

COOPER: Well, it's really - it's an honor to talk to both of you, and I appreciate the work you're doing. I know so many families would - would appreciate it as well, if they knew the full details of what you guys are doing, so thank you very much.

G. WALLACE: Thank you very much.

COOPER: Yes. It's really important work.

Up next, twin doctors, twin heroes fighting to save lives with hospitals destroyed, medical schools destroyed and a health care system that didn't meet the needs before the earthquake. CNN HEROES SAVING HAITI continues in a moment.



HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm CNN's Hala Gorani, and one hero I met in Haiti is Wismond Jean-Pierre's brother, Ensu Jean-Pierre.

Wismond Jean-Pierre is the young man who was pulled out of the rubble 12 days almost after the earthquake struck. But Ensu and his family never gave up. They alerted authorities. They got rescuers on the scene. Without their determination, there is no telling how this story might have ended.

But Ensu and his family and so many Haitians like him face an uncertain future now. They have no jobs. They have no homes. Yet they manage to remain calm and dignified.

Ensu Jean-Pierre and the Haitians here are my heroes.


COOPER: Well, as you just saw before the break, so many of the people here in Haiti saving lives are ordinary Haitians, people who now find themselves in extraordinary circumstances.

The two heroes you're about to meet only fit half that description. They are Haitian, but even before the quake they were far from ordinary. They were and are something of a rarity, twins, and most importantly in a country with far too few medical resources to begin with, they are twin doctors. 360 MD Sanjay Gupta has their remarkable story.



DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It doesn't take long to see the remarkable impact these two doctors are having here in Haiti.

Haitian surgeons, Jerry and Marlo Bitar. Yes, they're twins.

GUPTA (on camera): So who's who?


GUPTA: You have the mole on this side? So that's - that's the only difference?

GUPTA (voice-over): To this community, they are also heroes. Why? Because when the earthquake hit, they stayed open for business.

GUPTA (on camera): A lot of people left or they want to leave because of how bad things have become. Do you want to leave?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My answer is no way. Now way because it's my first time I feel the country really need - need us. And when we help, we forget the earthquake.

GUPTA: How about you? Do you ever think about leaving?


GUPTA (voice-over): For more than two weeks we went with them on their journey, tirelessly caring for patient after patient, maxing out their hospital beds to care for those patients around the clock.

GUPTA (on camera): One of the big challenges of operations like this is adequate pain control. As you - as you can see, she's obviously having some pain. They're going to do a - an operation where they actually close the skin over where she had her amputation. The medication, it's local pain medication to try and help, but it's tough.

How do you keep doing it? I mean, emotionally it must be so hard, all the things that you've seen since the earthquake?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was but - it was very hard. Hard. I think it was the end of the world.

GUPTA: Are you optimistic that Haiti can come out from underneath this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There (ph) is why we're here. We are very, very optimistic. I think it will be a bad thing or a good thing. We have to rebuild this country.

GUPTA: Do you think that's going to happen?


GUPTA: No doubt?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No doubt. I think that we have to begin again.

GUPTA (voice-over): Now, running a clinic where all the patients are so sick and none of them can pay, well it's not easy. On this day, they're trying to figure out how to make ends meet.

GUPTA (on camera): You - you had to take care of patients that can't pay. It's been over two weeks now. How - how do you guys stay afloat? How - how can you pay your bills?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) it's - it's my headache. But we're proud to have sister and brothers, Haitian family that had a (ph) problem.

GUPTA: A lot of people are calling you guys heroes. Are you heroes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we are heroes, everybody in this country who are alive can be heroes too, because everybody helped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good girl. You got the move.


COOPER: Sanjay, that - I mean, it just breaks your heart to - to actually see a child in a hospital here with all they've been through smiling and singing and - and laughing. I mean, what an incredible moment.

GUPTA: I've seen so many - so many bad, terrible images all week and, really, I - I could watch that all day long.

COOPER: I think that's the first time I've really seen a - a child in a hospital doing that. God, it felt - it's so nice to see.

Incredible to think that there are only 2,000 doctors in all of Haiti, a country of 9 million people, before the earthquake.

GUPTA: I mean, suffice it to say that most people go - go through an entire life here in Haiti and never see a doctor. Forget about the trauma care that we've been talking about, preventive care, anything. Just any kind of counseling just never happens.

And they also graduate only about 80 new doctors a year. So it's...

COOPER: And now, all the medical schools are destroyed.

GUPTA: Yes. I - I just - you know, when we talk about rebuilding or - or redevelopment, I don't know how that works, because eventually the international aid doctors that, you know, we've been reporting on, they're going to leave at some point, as - as we know, and the Haiti doctors that are here are going to have to take over a huge burden.

They're not making any more new doctors, and so many doctors left, you know. Besides these two, a lot of them left.

COOPER: Yes, and - and there's probably going to be more doctors who're going to be leaving in - in the years ahead if there's not opportunity here for - for them.

GUPTA: They have to have operating rooms, they have to have some sort of infrastructure to be able to carry out their job, and, you know, that has to be part of this.

COOPER: Right. And even now, I mean, how are the medical needs? You know, early on there was a shortage of doctors and nurses and certainly, we know a shortage of supplies.

GUPTA: Yes. And I think in Port-au-Prince, I think that personnel wise things have improved a lot. Supply wise, I think it's probably still not as good as most people would like it. I mean, I still see Black and Decker drills being used in operating rooms, people not getting adequate anesthesia, using medications like Ketamine, which is a dissociative. It's not really a general anesthetic, but that's what's still being used.

But I think that longer term, that so many of these amputations have been performed, you can't get around the city at all. I mean, this - this is not a city that - that caters to people who have some sort of somebody who have some sort of disability like that.

They're going to need prosthetics, and it's not a one-time deal. You got to get fit, and you got to get refit. If you're a child, you grow and it's got to be refit again. It's a long-term commitment to make sure that all works.

COPPER: Oh, it's - it's just incredible, the - the long-term needs of this country as well as the short-term needs right now.

Sanjay, appreciate the report.

Coming up, more on how people are stepping forward to help the youngest victims of this crisis, next on CNN HEROES SAVING HAITI".



KARL PENHAUL, CNN VIDEO CORRESPONDENT: I'm Karl Penhaul in Port-au- Prince.

I find it difficult to single out one person as a hero. Instead, I would say my hero is Haitian true grit, the Haitian spirit. We've seen people buried alive, we've seen people who've lost everything. They've been knocked down, but they're refusing to stay down.

What's coming through is really their will to survive, and what is clear to me is that if Haiti is to be rebuilt, every single person I've met will need to be a hero from this time forward. Everyone will really need to draw on that Haitian true grit.


COPPER: They are the youngest of the victims here and the most vulnerable. I'm talking of course about the children of Haiti, tens of thousands of boys and girls who are in desperate need of help. Many are orphans, all are survivors of a nightmare that may stay with them for the rest of their lives.

That's why UNICEF has therapists on the ground to talk to the kids, try to comfort them. Ivan Watson reports.



IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A song and a dance for children who have witnessed unspeakable horrors. These are child survivors of the earthquake who now laugh and clap as a child psychologist leads them through the Haitian hokey pokey.

Gertha Francois calls this therapy.

GERTHA FRANCOIS, CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST (through translator): I sing with the kids and observe their behavior. The kids that are sad and unhappy, they don't sing and they don't dance. I take notes and afterwards I meet with them one-on-one.

WATSON: Francois is part of a team of Haitian social workers at one of the first United Nations shelters set up to help child victims of the disaster. All of these children have somehow been separated from their parents. The goal here is to give them some much-needed stability.

AMANDA MELVILLE, UNICEF CHILD PROTECTION SPECIALIST: What we need to do is try to as quickly as possible, first to put them in a situation where they're safe, where they have things to occupy themselves, but also as quickly as possible, to establish a relationship with someone who can to love and care for them.

WATSON: No one needs this more than little Benoit Wilson, filmed here last Monday shortly after he arrived at the shelter. He was found homeless and alone in a public park. His face said it all.

And now, four days later, look at the difference. He joins in as Francois leads a group of kids do an exercise where they imagine they're riding bikes. Later she asked the kids what they're afraid of.

"Earthquakes," says Benoit. "I'm afraid when the earthquake comes a building will fall down on me."

Francois tells the children, if they get scared she will be here for them.

FRANCOIS (through translator): The most important thing is to show them affection and empathy, to show them that we love them.

WATSON: What better way to prove this than with a song. For children who have learned they can count on nothing, they now have a woman who is looking out for them. A champion.


COOPER: Ivan Watson joins me now, along with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. I mean, these kids have not only immediate medical and emotional needs but just long term they're going to huge needs as well.

WATSON: Absolutely. And - and the psychologist we talked to pointed out one boy who she said have lost his memory to a degree. He could not remember the name of his parents who of course have gone missing after the earthquake, or even his own name. And they were just trying to teach him to start to remember his own name again.

COOPER: That's incredible.

I went - I was at another area where there was a psychologist asking the kids to kind of talk about where they were during the earthquake, and - and the kids would talk about the situation they were in, but they wouldn't say the result of it. They wouldn't say, you know, my father died. They - they wouldn't talk about kind of who they had lost, and I don't know if that was conscious or - or not.

But in terms of immediate needs, Sanjay, what - what - for kids, what is their - their immediate need right now.

GUPTA: Well, there - there's something known as psychological first aid, and it can be as simple as getting kids into a routine again, giving them "perks", quote-unquote, which might be pillows, might be blankets, something that might seem like a - a little bit of a bonus for them. That's really helpful.

Also being able to identify who's most at risk, people who have sort of preexisting mental illness, people who've seen the worst images of all, who endured the most trauma, they're going to be the most at risk. That - that's not surprising.

What is a little bit tough to reconcile is this idea that you can't practice avoidance therapy here because the rubble is everywhere and also the aftershocks. So it just keeps coming back over and over again.

COOPER: Right. This is not some static event that just happened, you know, more than two weeks ago. This is something that they're - you're still having aftershocks and will likely for some time to come.

GUPTA: Yes. Yes, no question about it. And that - that keeps sort of opening up those emotional wounds. Something - one of the psychologists told me something I thought was interesting is that right now, this period is sort of considered what she called "the heroic period". You got rescues going on, you got a lot of media coverage. Over - over time that's going to slowly dissipate, and that's going to be a particularly hard time for people as - as far as PTSD goes because all of a sudden all that support is going to seemingly vanish.

COOPER: Well it's like for anybody who's lost somebody, you know, immediately after you lost somebody, your family gathers around or there's a funeral and there's things that occupy your time. It's - it's the weeks after when the kind of the crowds dissipate, people go about their - their lives, and, you know, one is left - and in this case, these kids are left with this kind of mundane misery and not having their families anymore.

GUPTA: Yes. And it's - I mean, very tough and being able to identify who's most at risk is more important because of that.

WATSON: And another point is a lot of these kids, their - their schools have been destroyed, and some of them have told me, you know, my teacher is dead now. So how do they get a routine after that? How is that - how do they recover that way?

The United Nations Children's Fund, they said that they're hoping to establish about 300 centers somewhat similar to the one we saw to try to reach out to - to what they estimate are hundreds of thousands of traumatized children.

COOPER: Well, I mean, that's the other problem is no one knows how many unaccompanied minors or no one knows at this point how many orphans there are. I mean, there are - maybe there's some kids who are just separated from their extended families. And so figuring that out is just - it's going to take months in and of itself.

WATSON: It's a logistical - really a challenge. And they said they - they - one of the big jobs is just going to be trying to find out if there are loved ones out there, if there's an uncle, a cousin, a neighbor who can maybe take these kids in.

COOPER: Well, I mean, you know, since - since we're looking at heroes, I mean, we have seen not just this psychologist who you profiled, but - and there are so many people who are, you know, not only suffering themselves but they are reaching out to children, they are taking in children.

You know, we've all come across people who, you know, you see a little child and you talk to her and she said, well, my - my mother and father are dead, but I'm staying with this lady. You know, somebody who maybe they didn't even know before, who was just a neighbor. You know, there is this history in Haiti of - of kind of families opening up and accepting new arrivals.

GUPTA: There - there's always this back and forth about when you're trying to talk to a child after something like this, do you talk about the event? Do you really get into it and this is what happened, or do you not talk about it and - and let the child talk about it when they're - when they want to? And I think psychologists are going to, you know, have a controversy about that for - for probably forever. But the reality is having some sort of conversation with the child, establishing some fort of social support, even if it's not necessarily with family, really, really seems to make a big difference. It's hard because of the schools, as you mentioned, churches, you drive around, have been destroyed as well.

So it's particularly challenging here. But that seems to be a key ingredient.

COOPER: Yes. All right. Sanjay, Ivan, thanks very much.

There is so much need here in Haiti, as we've talked about over the - these last two weeks, and so, just ahead, we're going to introduce you to more people who are answering the call to help. You may recognize these past CNN Heroes, you may have even voted for them to become CNN Heroes. They're now in Haiti.


COOPER: So many people from around the world have come to help Haiti, including two past CNN Heroes Tad Agoglia and Doc Hendley. One started the first response team to provide immediate help to victims of natural disasters, the other is a bartender who provides clean water to communities worldwide.

Now, obviously, there's a huge need for their skills here, and they got here as fast as they could.


COOPER (voice-over): It was in 2008 during the aftermath of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and a devastating tornado in Oklahoma when we saw Tad Agoglia.

TAD AGOGLIA, 2008 CNN HERO: As soon as we see a threat striking anywhere in the United States, if we feel it's severe enough, we leave immediately.

COOPER: Once the owner of a disaster recovery company, Agoglia has experienced clearing roadways and removing debris. Now, with his nonprofit First Response Team of America, he spends his life going from one disaster to the next.

He became a CNN hero in 2008.

AGOGLIA: The most critical phase of disaster is the first few days, that's when you have to find the people that are in desperate need of medical attention, food, water. But if you pull up and there is a building lying in the middle of the road, or if 20 miles is underwater, how do you get resources to those people?

COOPER: He does it by using cranes, earth-moving equipment and crews to respond to disasters.

AGOGLIA: You know what we can be of some help?

COOPER: What he once did for a living, he now does for free.

Haiti is Agoglia's first international disaster mission. He's working in Cite Soleil, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince.

AGOGLIA: I've been to 27 disasters in the United States in the last three years. This is unlike any I've ever seen.

COOPER: With the help of relief organizations, Samaritan's First, Agoglia loaded up this barge in Florida with the heavy equipment and supplies he'll need to help clear streets and buildings in Haiti.

His first job is to clear this collapsed church and rebuild the surrounding wall to give the people here a place to go for help.

AGOGLIA: We are going to make this place a safe and secure area where people can line up outside and come in one by one, get medical attention, food, water, tents.

COOPER: Another CNN hero is also at work here in Haiti. Last year, Doc Hendley showed us what he calls his life passion: providing clean water to people in need.

DOC HENDLEY, 2009 CNN HERO: Approximately 1 billion lack access to clean water. It's killing more children than AIDS and malaria combine. And yet, all of that can be prevented.

COOPER: This former bartender now spends his time in places like Darfur, Uganda, and Cambodia, providing people the tools and education to have clean, sustainable water.

HENDLEY: Whether we're filtering water or building a well, we want to train and educate that are already on the ground, enabling locals, to fix their own water.

COOPER: We caught up with Hendley on one of his first days in Haiti. The site of kids suffering and needing water was almost too much for him to bear.

HENDLEY: She can't get well if she doesn't have anything to drink.

COOPER: Armed with water filtration system, Hendley plans to head out to other areas of Haiti where the needs for clean water haven't been met.

HENDLEY: There's no other place in the world where I need to be or where anybody else needs to be right now that has the ability to help with water, because this is a horrible situation.

COOPER: A horrible situation, exactly where these two CNN heroes need to be.


COOPER: Another CNN hero, Bobby Duval was at a meeting in Philadelphia when the quake struck. He's a former soccer star in Haiti who now runs a program that helps promising young athletes in Haiti's largest slum. As you can imagine, he was desperate to get back to Haiti and the more than 1,000 kids his program serves. He did make it back. And I'll talk to him in a moment.

But first, we show you the work he does here.


COOPER (voice-over): More than two weeks after the earthquake, Bobby Duval is overwhelmed. The soccer field he built for kids is now a home for hundreds.

BOBBY DUVAL, CNN HERO: It's really something. I mean, where are we going start? We're going to start now? I mean, you know, it's just like, we were already in a hole. Now, we are in a much deeper hole now.

COOPER: Duval was a CNN hero in 2007. He founded a soccer training center called Athletics of Haiti, giving some of the kids from the poorest neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince an opportunity to get off the streets, play a sport, and get a meal.

DUVAL: Some of these kids have witnessed the worse atrocities. They live in the mud and no running water.

COOPER: Before the earthquake, his program served 1,300 kids a day. It was a safe place where kids could play and work on their skills.

DUVAL: The kids never missed practice and they are disciplined enough to keep focused on something positive.

Now, it's basically an after-school program.

COOPER: That after school program is now a lifesaver. Many families of the children who played soccer for Bobby have moved on to the field, nowhere else to go.

DUVAL: What we're trying to do is just keep it clean, give them a little bit of, you know, set up some bathrooms, set up some water and give them care. That's all. Understanding. So they are safe here.

COOPER: Safe and sheltered. Duval provided what tents he had. Those without them have gotten more creative.

(on camera): Are these goalposts, too?

DUVAL: Goalposts.

COOPER: Someone has made a little home out of goalposts.

DUVAL: Right.

COOPER (voice-over): Some kids still play soccer to pass the time. Families are making due the best they can. They cook on makeshift grills, wash clothes in discarded tubs. Duval says this is going to be the way of life here for a long time to come.

DUVAL: Save and serve, yes.

COOPER (on camera): Save and serve?

DUVAL: Save and serve.

COOPER: And that's what's essential right now. Save as many as you can.

DUVAL: Save as many as you can and serve as much as you can. That's -- that's it.


COOPER: Bobby Duval joins me now.

What is your biggest concern immediately for Haiti and for your kids?

DUVAL: For the kids, it's just try to get back to the program together, because it's been kind of shattered. You know, the necessities are not into theoretically sports, although I always had, you know, the social end to it what was the most important. But now, it's overwhelming, not only for the kids but for the immediate families and parents.

COOPER: You had just completed -- when I was at your soccer field, right before the earthquake, you would finally, just after many years and fundraising, you completed a wall all the way around your soccer field.

DUVAL: Fifteen years it took me.

COOPER: And how long before the quake did you finish it?

DUVAL: Two days.

COOPER: So, for two days, you're sitting there and enjoying...

DUVAL: I was very happy.

COOPER: Yes, you're enjoying the wall and everything. Now, the wall is completely down and you guys are saving the concrete blocks.

DUVAL: That's right. We are saving the concrete blocks. We are trying to keep it secure. We are trying to serve the population that has become -- it has become like a camp, a refugee camp, I guess, you know?


DUVAL: But, you know, we do get some solidarity from different groups that come sporadically.

COOPER: Can this -- can this country rebuild? I mean, can it?

DUVAL: Oh, there's no question about it. We have to rebuild. Now, the thing -- somebody was asking -- just asking me, "What do you think is the most pressing thing?" I think as Haitian, I think one of the things we need is guidance -- guidance from our leadership. What we need also is for us to do an introspective.

I think this situation, however dire it is, I think not only has shown the world how deep troubled we are in, but I think it's showing us Haitians that we have to really dig inside ourselves and surpass ourselves.

COOPER: Come up with a new way to live, a new other thing.

DUVAL: To live. To think. To act. To be -- to be, it's got -- it's got to be a new Haiti. It's got be a new way.

Now, you cannot resort to the old, you know, business-as-usual as it was before, because that's it was before, it wasn't working. It wasn't the right way. I think that -- I hope -- I just hope that this tragedy is going to make every Haitian from whichever walk of life, from the elite, the people, the great majority of people, you are -- you know, working for government, you're not working for the government, you're a private individual, I think that we have to reset ourselves.


DUVAL: I don't know who's going to give us this guidance. I don't know how it's going to be, but I know this is the biggest need that we have right now.

COOPER: I know in your way, you are doing that as well in your community, and I appreciate it.

DUVAL: I'm trying.

COOPER: Bobby, thank you. Thank you so much.

DUVAL: Thank you very much.

COOPER: Bobby Duval.

Coming up, we're going to meet another hero who's helping kids -- in this case, kids forced into slavery as unpaid servants -- when "CNN Heroes Saving Haiti "continues.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Don Lemon here at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

We're going to give you some of your headlines right now.

Flights transporting critically injured Haitians into the United States have been temporarily suspended because of logistical issues. Now, the White House says there is no official policy to suspend the flights but the situation arose because they were running out of room. Florida Governor Charlie Crist has asked the federal government to chip in, to pay the cost of treating those patients. New revelations about a man who could have been your president and who Washington insiders say could have put the Democratic Party in political jeopardy. This week, John Edwards, former Democratic presidential contender, admitted to fathering a child out of wedlock after lying to everyone about it. The lurid details all release today in a book called "The Politician," written by Edwards' longtime confidant, Andrew Young. Young spoke to ABC News about how Edwards and Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter, hatched a plan for Young to claim he was the baby's father.

Toyota owners with recall vehicles can expect to hear from the company in the near future. The Toyota spokesman tells CNN it has met with federal safety officials and is, quote, "finalizing a plan to replace gas pedals that could stick." Toyota did not offer a specific timetable on when the problem will be fixed, except to say, soon.

Those are your headlines. Now back to our CNN special "Heroes Saving Haiti." See you at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are making new tunnels. We are going through the rubble. We are hearing. We are smelling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you say, no, I don't feel fear. It is not true. It's bad, because your fear is your security. Take a breath and say, OK, you know, because we were with God and God has the decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am not scared to go inside. I'm scared that somebody is just stepping down, on the top.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Start trembling, you say, it's trembling. OK. Keep on walking.


COOPER: Yet, another group of heroes, a rescue team from Mexico, all of them volunteers, many of whom actually paid their own way to Haiti to work in the rubble.

As you saw with Bobby Duval, there were heroes in Haiti long before the quake. We want you to meet another. He's name is John-Robert Cadet. He's one of the founders of the Restavek Foundation. Restaveks are child slaves and there are hundreds of thousands of them in this country, boys and girls, used as domestic servants, given by their poor family to other families. They really have no rights and are at the mercy of the family that they're given to.

Cadet runs a foundation with the mission of giving these kids their freedom. Gary Tuchman has his story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John-Robert Cadet grew up in Haiti, and as a child, was a modern day slave, serving a family that literally bought him. The same situation these three girls had with people who bought them.

John-Robert helps protect children like these, as the head of an organization called the Restavek Foundation.

JEAN-ROBERT CADET, FOUNDER, RESTAVEK FOUNDATION: A restavek is child in domestic servitude.

TUCHMAN: This past summer, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduced us to John-Robert and his work, and showed us how he's rescued restaveks from that life.

CADET: I want all children to have the same life.

TUCHMAN: But the earthquake is making things worse for John-Robert and the children he protects.

CADET: A lot of children who are not -- who are a restavek will become restavek because they lost their parents. They lost their mothers. They lost their fathers. They have no one to turn to. So, these children will become restaveks. So, what's going to happen is, the population -- the restavek population will increase.

TUCHMAN: John-Robert's foundation is now providing food for orphan children, renting houses for children who have nowhere to go and hiring new staff to care for them.

CADET: And this thing called a restavek servitude, slavery, should not be happening. I'm hoping after the dust settles, you know, we will rebuild Haiti, a new Haiti where all children can go to school.

TUCHMAN: John-Robert was abused and exploited as a child. He's repulsed that it's still happens all these years later. But he's inspired when he and his foundation save a child from slavery.

CADET: We cannot rebuild this nation. This nation cannot be a nation without its children. They are our hope.


COOPER: It's got to make John-Robert feel great to have his -- one of his kids placed with family.

TUCHMAN: Whenever that happens, it's one of the highlights of his life. He told me a story about one particular girl, a 15-year-old girl who, in the midst of getting brutalized and abused, said to him when he met her, "Please, don't ever forget me." And he said, "I promise I won't forget you." And now, that particular 15-year-old is about to be adopted by a loving family in the United States.

COOPER: It's -- I mean, I think a lot of people don't understand this system, this restavek system here. This is essentially poor families who give up their child or sell their child to another family and maybe that family is richer or maybe that family doesn't really -- isn't that much richer at all, but they live in the city and they can do whatever they want with that child.

TUCHMAN: Well, ostensibly, the poor families believe these children will get schooling and get a better life. That's not usually what happens. They sell the child to a wealthier family.

And most of the time, these children become modern-day slaves -- and they get up earlier than every in the house. They stay up later. They don't go to school. And they often get sexually abused, they got beaten. It's terrible.

COOPER: We've seen a number of them in hospitals or in makeshift camps, injured, basically been dumped by their adoptive family, the family they've been working for, because the family doesn't want an injured child. And maybe the family doesn't have a home anymore so they don't want an extra mouth to feed.

And now, these kids don't have the family they were given to or sold to and they don't even know, in some cases, where their original family is from.

TUCHMAN: That's the tragedy. And because of this earthquake, we don't know what's going to happen in the weeks and months to come.

COOPER: All right. Gary, appreciate the report. Thank you.

Celebrating a country of heroes -- the people of Haiti, their faith and their future.


COOPER: We singled out just a few of the heroes we've met over the last two weeks. There are, of course, so many people here to thank, too many to acknowledge in an hour. But we think it's important to recognize the people of Haiti themselves. They are doing so much to rebuild their own lives, but also the lives of their friends and their families. They have extraordinary strength and extraordinary resilience.


COOPER (voice-over): Rising above the ruins...


COOPER: ... it is beginning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not thinking of what happened. I'm just going to move forward.

COOPER: Slowly, surely, in big ways, in small, the people of Haiti are showing their strength. You see it everywhere. On a broken down street, a woman picks up a broom and starts sweeping the debris away.

This is a country where faith is strong. They've banded together -- something to hold on to in these dark days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They lost their families so please put together what you have so we can buy things together.

COOPER: Hundreds of thousands still homeless, living in parks or makeshift shelters. It looks like chaos, but there is some order here, unwritten rules, respect for one another.

Families cook, do laundry, a woman bathes her daughter -- simple gestures, life continuing on.

A young boy fashions a kite out of a paper plate -- against the odds, it flies.

(on camera): Hello. Bonjour.

(voice-over): Despite the horrors they've lived through, kids are still kids.


COOPER: The living live on hour-to-hour, day-to-day. Life moves forward. With help, with heroes, this Haiti survives.



COOPER: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Gary Tuchman, and Ivan Watson join me again for some thoughts.

Ivan, you know, we've all come across these remarkable people in the time that we've been here. Who stands out in your mind?

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For me it a nine-person volunteer team of search and rescuers from Turkey, of all places, that had paid their own tickets to come out. And they've been working at this collapsed supermarket on their own, until they were bolstered by an American crew with many more people. And they ended up rescuing five people. And they were just very humble, lawyers, doctors, management consultants who -- when an earthquake happens -- they drop everything and run and then maybe somebody donates some money to help recuperate the cost.

COOPER: I keep thinking about the Caribbean market where you did so many incredible reports, and those family members who were waiting outside as sort of silently, day after day, holding a vigil, waiting for their loved ones.

WATSON: Agonizing. And from what I've heard from them today, they were very disappointed because some of the bodies were coming out and they weren't happy with the way they were being disposed of.

COOPER: Gary, how about you?

TUCHMAN: My hero is a 17-year-old girl named Ayez. And Ayez lives in a tent on a soccer field with thousands of people now live. And she lives with about 10 members of her extended family. Their house was destroyed.

And the reason she's my hero is because after the house was destroyed, they all got out of the house and they realized that Ayez's great grandmother wasn't with them. And her great grandmother is 109 years old. And she ran back into the house and she found her great grandmother in the rubble and she went to pick her up. She's a little girl, Ayez.

She went to pick her up and put her on her shoulder. And the grandmother goes, "Don't take me, get out of the house." She goes, "If we're going to die, it's going to be all of us, not just you."

And she picked her great grandmother, put her shoulders and got her out of the house, saved her life. So, she's her great grandmother's hero and my hero also.

COOPER: Sanjay, how about you? I mean, you've seen so many doctors and nurses doing incredible work.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, I think -- you know, the thing about medical care here is I think -- you hear so many times that some of these patients just cannot be saved or, you know, you can't intervene, there's nothing to be done. And yet, these doctors and nurses, they heard the call and they came down here and they literally perform miracles which -- miracle is not a term that you hear very often in the medical world, but there's been a lot of them here and I think people just not giving up, especially these nurses and doctors who really sacrificed a lot themselves to do.

There's also this 15-day-old baby that I met right when I got here. And, you know, it was funny, I was talking to my wife about her, and she made the comment to me which is that, most this girl's short life now, her short life, has been as a quake survivor. And remember thinking that that's really going to define her, you know, and some ways, make her stronger, which is not something she realizes right now, but I think she's going to grow up to be a remarkable person.

COOPER: Yes. I'm just thinking about all those kids that we have seen over the last two weeks, you know, laying in hospital rooms if they were lucky enough to get to a hospital, sitting in makeshift tents with, you know, broken limbs and broken hearts.

And a little boy that we saw in this park, you know, this park behind us that has, you know, frankly about 10,000 people all the day for blocks, a couple of hundreds in this immediate area. And he was staring, looking at the photos of his father. And it turned out his father had died. And all he wanted was, you know, to be with his father again, this little 10-year-old boy.

And -- I mean, who just, day after day of these kids whose lives will be forever changed, that will never be the same again and yet, you know, wake up every day and have to -- have to, you know, find a way to get through the day. TUCHMAN: And I think it's fair to say it will never be the same again for us, for those of us who've covered that -- a lot of our -- cover the story. A lot of our viewers say, well, we cover all kinds of terrible stories. But none of us will ever forget this experience that will stick in our minds forever, just so sad and tragic. And the day we arrived seeing all the bodies here, I mean, those are images we can never forget.

COOPER: We've seen a lot. It's been a remarkable time here. We hope to continually coming back over the weeks and months ahead because this story is not going away. The needs here are going to continue long-term. CNN has committed to continue reporting on what is happening on the ground in Haiti.

Every new hero that we meet is a new beginning for Haiti. We're going to keep telling their stories.

For all of us here and for all the people at CNN heroes back home, thanks for watching.