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"Parts Unknown" Returns; Kali Hardig Heads Home; Interview with Kali and Traci Hardig; Golfing for Good

Aired September 12, 2013 - 08:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And we'll be right here telling you about it.

Right now let's get to Michaela for the five things you need to know for your new day.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Here we go.

At number one, in a "New York Times" op-ed, Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is alarmed by U.S. military intervention in other country's internal conflicts. He warns a U.S. strike on Syria would create more victims and could spread conflict.

Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, arriving in Geneva this morning for talks with Russia's foreign minister. They'll try to hammer out a diplomatic solution to that crisis in Syria.

At least two people killed in deadly flooding in Colorado. Several homes have been destroyed and rescue crews struggling to reach people who are trapped because of rock slides in the area.

A Montana judge expected to rule today on whether a newlywed wife, charged with killing her husband of eight days, will remain behind bars or be released to home confinement.

And at number five, the new parents, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, stepping out tonight in their first official engagement since the birth of baby Prince George. They'll attend an awards ceremony for the wildlife conservation group Tusk Trust.

We always update those five things to know, so be sure to visit for the very latest.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thanks so much, Michaela.

With all of the focus, and much needed focus, on Syria right now, we wanted to let you know that you can make an impact for the more than 2 million Syrian refugees suffering right now. You can go to for a list of the many organizations that are working in the region and ways - that will tell you ways that you can help. That again is

CUOMO: That's a good idea. Might as well go check it out. Take a break. We'll give you a chance to do it right now.

Coming up on NEW DAY, an Arkansas girl given 1 percent odds of surviving a brain eating ameba. Well, guess what? She beat them. Kali Harding coming up in a NEW DAY live exclusive, sharing her inspiring story.

BOLDUAN: And Anthony Bourdain hitting the road once again. Where is he eating? Where is he taking us? The celebrity chef is talking about this weekend's big debut of season two on CNN.

CUOMO: Break through his inscrutable visage (ph).


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Renowned chef Anthony Bourdain is back with season two of "PARTS UNKNOWN." The show nominated for four, count them, primetime Emmys, premiering September 15th, 9:00 p.m. Eastern. And Anthony will be traveling all over the world once again. But we're lucky enough to land him in the studio for at least a moment to talk to him about it.

This season, season one, was fabulous.


BOLDUAN: Season two, you've got some really exciting places that you're heading. The premiere episode is Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank. I mean the political tension there we all know very well. What did you learn from the food?

BOURDAIN: Well, I think we'll be -- it's something that I try to do regularly on the show is go on a very complicated situations and ask very simple questions. And, remarkably enough, I found over the years, if I do that, people really let their guard down. And when you ask simple questions like, what makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you want for your kids? They tell you rather extraordinary things about themselves that they might not otherwise. So I don't know that I came back any smarter necessarily, but I saw some remarkable things and met some extraordinary people.

CUOMO: What do you think you can share about what people are like? You're going to have Libya, obviously, on this next round. But being in the region, what can you pass along to the American audience?

BOURDAIN: There is a science fiction aspect to the way that Palestinians live in Gaza that I think people will be surprised -- and West Bank that people will be surprised by. I think there is a basic humanity on both sides of the issue that - that's - that we miss when we watch these issues play out.

It's an extraordinary, complex situation.


BOURDAIN: But I think just looking at, who are we talking about here at this most contentious part of the world? You know, who are these people? How do they live? I just think people haven't seen a lot of that. What do they - what do they cook and how do they eat in Gaza is something I haven't seen before and something I was very, very surprised to see. And I think it will inform you in larger ways than you might think.

PEREIRA: What a better way to get in and talk to people than go into their kitchens and sit down with them and break bread.

I was thinking about the fact that -- one thing that we know, and clearly is a premise of your show, that food plays so importantly into all of our cultures. But I sense that we all have -- around the world, have different relationships with food. Do you sense that especially when you're going to some of the places you've been this past season?

BOURDAIN: It's enormously important factor in how much I enjoy a place. Countries that don't really have any passion for food or any relationship with food, don't really care for it much, that's generally a pretty miserable place to be and a miserable place to make television. It's those cultures that surprise you with how passionate they are about food, how much joy there is at the table.

PEREIRA: Like where?

BOURDAIN: How important hospitality is. This is a feature of the Arab world in particular that surprised me again and again and again. In places where - countries where, frankly, they don't -- you wouldn't expect them to have friendly feelings towards Americans.

CUOMO: Well, explain it, Tony. Explain what they mean by hospitality that may be different than what we do here.

BOURDAIN: Meaning it is a -- every minute that they are not feeding you -- look, if you have an Italian grandmother, you - it's that kind of hospitality. Not only is it a misery every minute you are not eating and being looked after, but it's an embarrassment to your Arab host, generally speaking when the camera crew is not eating. They keep constantly turning right to the camera crew, you're not eating. Sit.

BOLDUAN: You're like, they need to do their jobs!

BOURDAIN: Your host will generally sit next to you tearing off the best part and putting only the best parts in front of you, making sure you're getting a good mix of everything. You know somebody who, frankly, under another situation, would be perfectly happy to see terrible things happen to you, when it's dinner time and they're in a position of host, there's an enormous -- the guard drops to a great degree and there is, you know, something kind of magical happens.

BOLDUAN: Anthony, I'm looking through the list of all the places you're going to go in this season and some of them you think, ah, yes, definitely you can see there's food related -- you know food from that area, from that country, from that region. But other places like here at home, New Mexico and Detroit.

BOURDAIN: Yes. BOLDUAN: Maybe not - maybe they do not come top of mind when you think of food or someplace Anthony Bourdain's going to go. What made you choose those places?

BOURDAIN: Well, I've loved Detroit for years.

BOLDUAN: Oh, yes.

BOURDAIN: It's a place I've always connected with as I've gone through on speaking tour, a book tour. I've -- and I think people will be absolutely stunned to see what we've allowed to happen to this - really one of the great American cities. It's going to be shocking to people, inspiring in many ways, and I think absolutely stunning and a warning shot, I think, in a lot of ways.


BOURDAIN: I mean, look, this is not a problem unique to Detroit necessarily.

BOLDUAN: And in my experience, the food, though, in Detroit, still amazing.

BOURDAIN: The food in Detroit, amazing and getting better.


BOURDAIN: But I think the most extraordinary thing, there's resilience, a toughness, and a sense of humor in Detroit that it's really hard not to love.

PEREIRA: Yes, I love this (ph) show, "PARTS UNKNOWN." Is there still a place that's illusive to you that you can't get to that you haven't been to yet?

BOURDAIN: Well, look, I think even in New York City there are parts unknown. You know, I've lived here most of my life but I think the challenge is to go even to places that many people have seen and find a new perspective and a new way of looking at it that maybe people aren't familiar with.

BOLDUAN: I could really use some tips. So we can talk about that later.

PEREIRA: Let's make a list.


CUOMO: Don't be shy about bringing food with you, Tony, when you (INAUDIBLE).


BOLDUAN: Yes, (INAUDIBLE). I'm sure that last thing - I was going to -- we're going to make you eat weird stuff and he was like (INAUDIBLE). PEREIRA: We're the host. We should have provided him with something, right?

BOLDUAN: That shows our hospitality to people.



PEREIRA: I know, nothing. Nothing.

CUOMO: Want a mint? I've got mints.

BOLDUAN: We've got mints and coffee. What do you want?

BOURDAIN: I'll take a raincheck on that.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

"Parts Unknown," it is premiering, I want to make sure we get it right for everyone, season two, September 15th, 9:00 p.m. Eastern. You do not want to miss it.

It's great to see you. Thanks so much for coming in.


BOURDAIN: Thank you guys.

BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.

CUOMO: All right, and coming up next, a NEW DAY live exclusive. We're going to talking with an amazing 12-year-old girl who survived a rare brain eating amoeba. How Kali Harding overcame the odds. You're not going to want to miss it.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Another incredible mile stone in the recovery of an Arkansas girl stricken by a deadly brain-eating amoeba. Kali Hardig contracted the infection in July, but after months of fighting for her life, literally fighting for her life, she is finally home. We will speak with Kali and her mother live exclusive in just a moment.

But first, here is CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen with her story.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A miraculous home coming for Kali Hardig. By nearly all accounts the 12-year-old shouldn't be alive.

During a swim at this water park in July, she contracted parasitic meningitis; a rare, usually fatal infection caused by brain-eating amoebas. Her chance of survival: less than one percent. Before Kali, just two patients had been known to survive. Her friends and family prayed she would be the third.

Doctors at Arkansas Children's Hospital had to put her in a coma to try and save her life. And against the odds, she made it.

Now Kali can talk, she can take a few steps on her own and she has been undergoing rehab. And Wednesday she finally got to go home from the hospital after nearly seven weeks. Doctors credit her amazing survival in part to this experimental anti-amoeba drug. They had to get it from the Centers for Disease Control.

And on Monday morning, another milestone: Kali will head back to school part-time. In the afternoons she'll do physical and speech therapy for the next six weeks.

ESTHER TOMPKINS, KALI'S PHYSICAL THERAPIST: At that time, I'm hopeful that she will be ready to go back to school full-time.

COHEN: For Kali and her mom and dad who were initially told the worst news possible, it's a bright future for a little girl who is very lucky to be alive.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, reporting.


BOLDUAN: And here to share their amazing story of courage and beating the odds exclusively, Kali Hardig and her mother Traci, joining me now. It is so wonderful. It's such an understatement to even say it's wonderful to see you both. It's great to see your smiling face this morning, Kali.


BOLDUAN: How are you feeling?

K. HARDIG: Good.

BOLDUAN: Yes do you feel a hundred percent? What's it like right now?

K. HARDIG: Yes. It's awesome to be home.

BOLDUAN: And you just got out of the hospital.

K. HARDIG: And it's good to be home.

BOLDUAN: Of course it feels good to be home.

K. HARDIG: Yesterday.

BOLDUAN: What was the first thing you wanted to do when you got out of the hospital after being there for so long?

K. HARDIG: I wanted to play with my dog Chloe. BOLDUAN: And give her a big hug right?


BOLDUAN: Have you been able to see any of your friends?

K. HARDIG: Yes, some -- some of them.

BOLDUAN: And what are they saying? I'm sure they're so excited to see you.

K. HARDIG: They're like I'm glad you're doing better.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And you're starting school.

K. HARDIG: And they're like psyched I'm getting better.

BOLDUAN: And you're starting school?

K. HARDIG: I start school on Monday.

BOLDUAN: Part-time on Monday. Are you looking forward to going back?

K. HARDIG: Yes -- kind of.

BOLDUAN: A perfect response for any 12-year-old heading back to school. What are you going to tell your friends when you get back to class?

K. HARDIG: That I missed them I guess.

BOLDUAN: Yes. That makes sense. That makes absolute sense.

So Traci, you must be just on cloud nine being able to have your daughter home.

TRACI HARDIG, KALI'S MOTHER: Yes, it's a wonderful feeling to have her back home.

BOLDUAN: Take me back through this terrifying ordeal that you've gone through that no one -- I mean that's why you have number three on your shirt. She is really the only -- the third person that's known to survive this brain eating amoeba. Take me back to that. Your daughter gets sick. She goes into the hospital and she is only getting worse. And then you get this diagnosis and you learn the odds that she is up against.

What was going through your mind?

T. HARDIG: Well, at first I was determined that I wasn't going to lose her, that it just couldn't be happening and because I could talk to her, still. I mean she was still awake when we took her in. So it was just hard for me to accept that that was what was going to happen in a few days. So we decided that we were just going to tell her she was very sick and she had to fight like mom does because mom has been battling cancer and then we were going to ask everybody to pray for her and we were going to make it through it.

So we just hung in there and prayed and, you know, it just -- I'm so thankful and blessed the road we're down instead of the one we could have went down. So it's just a miracle.

BOLDUAN: It is a miracle. Was there any moment when you were losing hope, when you knew the odds that she was up against?

T. HARDIG: Well, I mean, there were several moments that I would get down because it was like riding a rollercoaster. I mean, one moment things would be going good and then the next moment something else could happen that you're just wondering if she was going to be able to overcome it or not. And there was a moment where she was just hooked up to every machine possible that you could imagine. I mean there was hardly any room for you in the room.

And I mean, that was one of my lowest points is thinking, you know, if you just let her come back from this, I'll do whatever I got to do to take care of her. I just want to be able to take her home. So that was one of the hardest moments.

BOLDUAN: And we should give a very big shout out to the Arkansas Children's Hospital for their hard work and everything they've done for you and your family. And they used a new experimental drug to help Kali through this. When did you get a sense that Kali had turned that corner? When did you feel comfortable even believing that she was going to make it through?

T. HARDIG: It was a long haul. We were in ICU for 22 days. So the day before we left on ICU they actually took her off the vent and I think that was the first time I could what you call actually take a breath and let myself breathe to think that Kali was possibly going to overcome this. But it was just until then, you know, I just prayed and hoped and just kept my faith that she would make it. But that's the actual moment I think that I really believed and the doctors would actually tell us that she was going to be the third survivor.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Kali, do you remember any -- you were very sick obviously as your mom is saying. Do you remember anything during the time that you were in the hospital?

K. HARDIG: Not really.

BOLDUAN: Not really. Was it -- were you scared?


BOLDUAN: Do you realize now how special you are that you made it through and what a special girl you are?

K. HARDIG: Yes. Yes.

BOLDUAN: What do you think of all this attention?

K. HARDIG: I kind of like it. BOLDUAN: Well, we kind of like giving it to you, I must say. Traci, do you want parents when they hear your story, do you want parents to learn anything from this experience? This doesn't happen to many people and it is so clearly fatal when it does. Are you trying to send a message to anyone?

T. HARDIG: Yes. The message that we would like to send is just awareness that this does exist, because before Kali got this, I didn't even know it existed either.

And the main thing is trust your instincts as a parent. I mean if you believe that there's something more wrong with your daughter or your son than a -- you know simple virus or stomach flu, stay in there. Hang in there. Talk to the doctor. Be positive and, you know, and reassure them that this is not a normal illness with my child.

And they'll listen, because, I mean, children's hospital was wonderful with listening when I told them that this just wasn't a normal case of a stomach bug. There was something wrong with Kali.

BOLDUAN: You knew your child better than any doctor would. That's for sure Traci. So, Kali, I know you're sleepy, you poor thing. You know that so many people have been pulling for you and praying for you and following your story and your recovery. What do you want to say to everyone who's been watching this and hoping you make it through?

K. HARDIG: Thank you for praying for me, everybody.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Well, thank you both so much Kali it's such a pleasure to meet you. Talk about beating the odds. Traci, you are counting your blessings today and you will be for a long, long time to come. Thanks so much for coming on and sharing your story.

T. HARDIG: Thank you.

K. HARDIG: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: All right. Good luck at school, sweetie.

K. HARDIG: Ok. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: All right.


CUOMO: I love that. I love the mom has Kali number 3 because she is the third to survive but you know she is number one in that family and in all of our hearts right now. What a great story. Let's take a break.

Coming up on NEW DAY some say golf is a good sport. Others say it is good for the soul. But one man made it good for an entire community. Find out how, in our "Good Stuff".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CUOMO: All right. You loved the movie; you're going to love this even more. Time for "The Good Stuff". Today's edition to all you golfers out there, the next time your beloved goes after you for being on the golf course Saturday remind them that it is a to make a difference in the world -- what, yes -- like this guy did.

66-year-old retired teacher Dale Wright, he golfed to raise money to fill up his local library which is really hurting for books. But not just a round, 125 holes of golf nonstop, all in a single day. You see Dale loves golf but he loves helping his community even more.


DALE WRIGHT, PLAYED GOLD TO RAISE MONEY FOR PUBLIC LIBRARY: this is a very under funded library but is very important to the Adams Friendship community. And there is a lot of reading going on around here which as a teacher really makes me happy to see.

JEFF WAYRUNEK, LIBRARY DIRECTOR: And we'll put a nice little plaque on there "donated by Dale" or, you know, "Dale collapsed on the golf course to provide this book".


CUOMO: That's nice.

PEREIRA: Wonder how he did it.

CUOMO: He did it. He wasn't even wearing cleats. He went out there --

BOLDUAN: Sprinting around.

PEREIRA: Round 124.

CUOMO: So you see that. Golf is good. That's the message.

BOLDUAN: That's what we'll end on today.

That is it for NEW DAY.

"CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello begins right now.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Golf is good. Have a great day. Thanks so much.

"NEWSROOM" starts now.

Happening now in the "NEWSROOM", breaking overnight, flood emergency in Colorado. At least one person has died. Streets unpassable.

Also, Vladimir Putin lashing out calling America a "bully".


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got an e-mail with President Putin had to say. I almost wanted to vomit.