TODAY   |  January 15, 2010

Crying Haitian children fill makeshift hospitals

Jan. 14: TODAY’s Ann Curry takes a look at some of the earthquake’s smallest victims in Haiti.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> all right, but first, let's check in with ann , who is once again in port-au-prince for us this morning. ann , good morning, again.

>> reporter: good morning, again to you, matt. listen, all night we've been seeing this footprint of the u.s. military rise. we had a lot of c-130s on the tarmac picking up americans. but also, you can see some soldiers behind me. we believe that they're army. we've also seen some navy helicopters arriving. so, it is fair to say, the u.s. military footprint is stepping up significantly as of late last night and into today. nearly half of haiti 's population are children, and they are really bearing the weight of the suffering here. and we found a hospital that is working feverishly now to try to answer their needs. haiti 's cry of pain has not spared its children. even in the arms of his mouth, 9-year-old jules cannot be comforted. as doctors at the children's hospital sew up the deep gash on his leg without anesthetics. afterwards, his mouth christine said all three of them were buried in the quake. she says "i was down the street from my house and then i saw all the houses start to fall. i ran over walls to get to my house and it had fallen, but i heard cries saying "mommy, i'm here, i'm not dead." i dug with my bare hands." her family and hundreds of others, including an 8-day-old baby who escaped injury, and yet another infant who did not, a 12-year-old being treated for lacerations and 5-year-old sam bravely waiting for a broken left leg to be set, and he's saying "it hurts." all of them reaching out for help from anyone, and they're overwhelming the staff. the hospital operating outside for fear of aftershocks is damaged but one of few still standing . still, hundreds of injured come every day, so many, the 17 doctors here have no idea how many they are treating. they're running out of everything, from medicines to bandages. there are not enough doctors to take care of all the injured, so the parents are stepping in and taking care of their own children, and this is a hospital. for some, there is nothing that can be done. these women have just learned they've lost their parents. and to compound the tragedies here --

>> they have to go to the cemetery with their picks and their shovels and dig their own grave.

>> reporter: father rich frichet ad stared last rights, though members of his own staff are missing. but even in the midst of all this, gratitude can be found. christine, still cradling jules, tells us, "a lot of people weren't spared, but i am thankful my children were. i realize now that god loves me." the priest we just introduced you to, father frichet, runs that hospital. and actually, he was in the united states when the quake struck tending to his dying mother, but she told him to go to haiti , to leave her bedside, because the people of haiti needed him more. and so, he is here working. matt and meredith, back to you.

>> ann , thank you very much. ann curry in port-au-prince for us this morning. to find out how you can contribute to the relief effort, you can logon to our website at

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