Haiti's deadly earthquake hits home for a Gulfport resident

By Jessica Bowman – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - She's been living in a nightmare since Tuesday's deadly quake. A Gulfport woman has a personnel connection to Haiti. Not only was she born there, her family was there when the earthquake struck.

At the age of 11, she left by boat alongside her mother and two brothers headed for what they hoped was an opportunity.

"The riots was very bad, people were killing each other burning buildings down. Stores were being destroyed, and I mean, it was just terrible," said Burnadette Young.

Young decided to become a U.S. Citizen. Her family couldn't leave the home they knew in Haiti.

Young said, "My co-worker said there's an earthquake in Haiti and first thing that come to mind was like earthquake in Haiti? There's no earthquake in Haiti. How could there be?"

Young's uncle spoke to her mother 15 minutes before the deadly quake struck.

Young said, "At that time my heart just kind of fell to the ground because my mother she's in Haiti and I'm not sure if she's okay. That was the worst night ever it was long we were just calling back and forth hoping to get through and watching the news it was just horrible."

Faith is what kept Young going through each dreadful day.

"That's all I was thinking if my mother is dead how am I going to find out what her last words were," says Burnadette Young.

Young desperately tried contacting her family day after day after she learned of the tragic news.

"I got a phone call. I knew it was Haiti. I saw the area code, and I ran outside. And I picked up, and it was my brother's girlfriend. And she said everybody is okay. No one died, and don't cry. We're okay. We don't have a house. We don't have a home, and we are on the street. But we're fine," said Young.

Young said she and her family will continue to pray for those who have still not heard word from their family members in Haiti.

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