Haiti Survivor Recounts Struggle To Survive

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  • Melissa Elliott. | Photo: TODAY'S TMJ4 HD

MILWAUKEE - Melissa Elliott is back home with friends and family after surviving the terrible devastation in Haiti.

With tears in her eyes, Melissa Elliott embraced family members. She wasn't sure she would ever see them again after the earthquake in Haiti demolished her hotel.
"I wasn't trapped. I was able to climb to the next room and then jump down and crawl underneath the roof. But my legs are all bruised and scratched up, and I have some bruises on my upper body," Elliott explained.
At first, Melissa and her classmates from Lynn University thought a bomb had gone off. In the hours that followed, they saw some horrific things.

Raw Video:
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"There were tremors throughout the whole entire night, and you could just hear the whole city down underneath us, screaming. You were walking over bodies, it was horrible. People were just sitting there, crying. They had nowhere to go. Every building was destroyed," Elliott said.
With only one working cell phone, Melissa and her friends weren't able to get in touch with their families for days. Food and water were scarce.
"We had to stay strong because we needed to survive. We didn't want to be there any longer than we were," Elliott said.
Melissa plans to rest with her family before going back to school in Florida. She can't stop thinking about the four students and two teachers from her humanitarian group who are still missing.
"It replays in my mind every second, but right now I'm just trying to be strong and focus all of our effort into bringing the rest of the group back safely," Elliott said.
Melissa is asking people to continue to donate to the relief efforts. When asked if she would return to Haiti to continue her humanitarian work, she said, "in a heartbeat."