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January 11th, 2011
06:20 PM ET

Human Factor: Faith, miracles and a new reach

In the Human Factor, Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces you to survivors who have overcome tremendous odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed. Be inspired by their successes, as we have been.

My name is Darline Bertil. I am 25 years old. I was born and raised in Port-au Prince, the capital of Haiti, which was the epicenter of the earthquake. Before this devastating earthquake, my life was quite normal. I attended school, church and lived a productive life.

On the afternoon of January 12, 2010, I was at work when at 4 p.m. I felt the ground start to shake. My coworkers and I were startled and wondered what was going on. We decided to check our surroundings and saw that the counters of the bar were blocking us in. The building had collapsed in less than 30 seconds. We had no outside contact and ended up trapped there for days.

We prayed for deliverance and felt hopeless, asking God for forgiveness. We  feared that it was the end of the world. During this time I was also trapped by the concrete, and I could not feel my arms. Later I was told that when I was rescued I was unconscious.

The day I was rescued by several American soldiers, they took me on a medical boat called the “USNS Comfort.” I never thought I would see another day.

What I want people to know is that with God all things are possible and to believe in miracles. Without faith and courage I would have not survived.

I lost my arms in this tragedy and now face my biggest challenge, which is to adjust to life with no upper limbs, and a limp on my right leg.

The hardest moments for me were the realization that I had lost both my arms. In life there are circumstances that we face that we cannot change. My country as in many has flaws but one thing I would advocate for is equality for the disabled.

 If you don’t take anything else from my story please know that life is precious. What we take for granted can be gone in a matter of seconds, cherish the people in your life and live life to the fullest. Tomorrow's not promised!!

Human Factor appears on "SGMD," 7:30 a.m. Saturday-Sunday

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Filed under: Haiti • Human Factor

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.