Haiti Earthquake: Survivors Inspire Search Teams to Keep Digging Through Rubble

Search and rescue teams vow to keep going as more children pulled from rubble.

Jan. 21, 2010— -- They were pulled out thin, malnourished and injured, but survivors of the Haiti earthquake who continue to be rescued after nine days in the rubble have given search and rescue teams the inspiration to keep digging.

Crews clapped and cheered Wednesday as a 5-year-old boy was pulled out and smiled along with an 8-year-old girl who flashed a grin during her rescue, despite spending eight days trapped under a building.

"Life has been given back to these individuals, so I hope that they enjoy it," one of the rescuers told "Good Morning America."

But the life to which the survivors returned can be anything but joyous. Frangina, 14, was pinned under the rubble for days with friends, 6-year-old Nazer and 5-year-old Kevin.

She learned later that Kevin did not survive.

"I mean, I felt terrible," she said. "It was like he died in my hands."

Frangina and 23 family members have taken refuge at her aunt's house, where they share one outdoor latrine. There is no power and no running water.

Frangina, left with only the clothes she was wearing the day of the earthquake, had yet to receive medical attention. She had a scar on her leg where a nail had pierced her skin and received one meal a day.

"I feel a little dizzy," she said through a translator. "My head turns and sometimes I feel like I'm going to fall down."

In Port-au-Prince, some people are questioning how much longer the mission to rescue survivors from the rubble will continue before it turns into a recovery effort.

Airborne Corps Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn said Tuesday that his command would soon make that decision.

"We fully expect that we will transition very soon from the search phase to the recovery phase, and obviously, we continue to be in prayer," Allyn said.

The State Department confirmed 33 American deaths today in Haiti. More than 6,000 people have been evacuated.

As the death toll mounts, workers rush to bury bodies as fast as they can, using earthmovers to create and cover up mass graves.

"I have seen so many children, so many children," Foultone Fequiert, 38, told The Associated Press. "I cannot sleep at night, and, if I do, it is a constant nightmare."

The dead stick out at all angles from the mass graves; tall mounds of chalky dirt, the limbs of men, women and children frozen together in death. "I received 10,000 bodies yesterday alone," he said.

Doctor Begs for Medication, Says Earthquake Victims in 'Horrible Pain'

Meanwhile, More than 4,000 Marines and sailors on their way to the Persian Gulf and Africa are have been diverted to Haiti to assist with recovery and relief efforts, Navy officials said today.

Three amphibious ships and their support vessels sailing out of Norfolk, Va., heading for its regular deployment were told to change course and sail to Haiti instead. The fresh troops will be in addition to the 2,000 Marines already on the ground who began delivering aid for the first time Tuesday. The Pentagon says there will be roughly 16,000 U.S. forces in Haiti by the end of the week.

ABC News visited a hospital in the city of Carrefour, about 10 miles outside Port-au-Prince, where doctors performed amputations using scissors, supplies of anesthetics were alarmingly low, and the injured had been waiting for treatment since the earthquake hit.

While relief in the form of food, water and basic medical supplies continues to make its way into Haiti's devastated neighborhoods, many victims are still fighting their way out of the capital city into outlying towns or the Dominican Republic.

For some, the exodus is their only way to get help as tens of thousands of injured Haitians still await medical treatment. One hospital reported that 1,000 patients were waiting for surgery.

At the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Deschapelles, three hours outside the earthquake zone, the scene was stunning.

Victims with untreated broken bones, gaping wounds and severe head injuries lined every bit of the hospital halls. There were more than 500 patients and 80 beds.

A nurse told ABC News the victims were bused in, broken bones and all.

Doctors aboard the USNS Comfort, a 900-foot floating hospital nearing Haiti, have also begun treating their first patients, according to The Associated Press.

Dr. Jon Crocker of Partners in Health posted on the organization's Web site that people who have been lucky enough to survive their injuires so far are now succumbing to ailments such as massive infection and blood clots.

Ian Rawson, head of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, told ABC News' senior health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser that many of the hospital's employees who had previously been laid off came back after the earthquake to help save their family members.

It's the "biggest demand on this hospital I have ever seen," he said, crying.

It's a demand they don't seem to be able to meet. The hospital is running out of supplies and signs of that shortage are everywhere. They're out of crutches and running dangerously low on antibiotics. The only pain medication left is a small amount of Motrin.

"I wish we could get some medicine, some pain medicine and antibiotics," Rawson said. "These people are enduring horrible pain."

Dr. Emmanuel Fransoise, an orthopedic surgeon, hasn't left the hospital since Sunday night. He has already performed more than 20 surgeries and had dozens yet to go. He said he's not willing to give up.

"We are Haitian, we have hope," he said, adding that hope comes "from the inside."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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