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Format: 04/23/2014
Format: 04/23/2014

News

WPXI-TV: Haitian Orphans Beginning To Leave Hospital With New Families

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Volunteers from the Red Cross said about six children already left the hospital. One father, who resides in Colorado, said he is excited to be reunited with the 3-year-old girl he has been trying to adopt.

"The kids are playing and having a good time up there," said Red Cross volunteer Dan Lenz. "You wouldn't think that they came out of a horrible situation like that."

Adoptive parent Andre Cardalhaes, of Colorado, said he doesn't have any official word yet but hopes to bring his little girl home in the next day or two.

"She was having fun with the other kids," said adoptive parent Andre Cardalhaes. "They interact. They take care of each other, sharing toys. They're a family."

Channel 11 talked with the Baker family from Spokane, Washington as they were leaving the hospital with the three Haitian orphans who are now legally their children.

"It's been long. We are ready for it to be over. We would have never hoped for it to end this way. But we'll take them. We were close to being done but that's alright. We're doing alright," said Kris Baker.

The last of the orphans arrived in Pittsburgh Wednesday morning with her caretaker, Ben Avon native Jamie McMutrie.

Two-year-old Emma had gone missing Monday just as a group of Pennsylvania officials and medical personnel were leaving the earthquake-ravaged country with the orphans and the two Ben Avon sisters who had been caring for them and arranging their adoptions.

Emma was found shortly after the jet left with the remaining orphans and McMutrie's sister, Alison. Jamie got off the flight to look for Emma. She was found at the U.S. Embassy. Jamie and Emma left Port-au-Prince for Miami late Tuesday.

The arrival of the orphans comes one week after the massive earthquake in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12.

Ali McMutrie spoke to reporters on Tuesday shortly after the group arrived in Pittsburgh.

"We're here, and I'm so thankful," McMutrie said. "When the earthquake hit, we felt hopeless. What runs through your mind is horrible. It was a long week, a tough week. The fact that we're here now was worth it. All I can say is thank you."

The orphans were taken to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh for medical care and will be placed in group homes until their adoptions are finalized.

Health care officials who evaluated the orphans said the majority of the children were in great condition, considering the circumstances.

Some of the children, ranging in age from 11-months to 12-years-old, were able to leave the hospital as early as Tuesday night.

Gov. Ed Rendell and other officials, including Rep. Jason Altmire, escorted the orphans from Haiti, where they and their American caretakers spent days in need of food and water after last week's massive quake.

Allegheny General Hospital told Channel 11 that they had an ENT surgeon, neonatologist, pediatric physicians assistant and emergency room doctor on board the flight.

To read more, visit the WPXI website.

 

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