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After 6 days in university's rubble, student's prayers answered

By Arthur Brice, CNN
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Trapped for six days
  • Falone Maxi's sister visited leveled site each day, hoping to hear her voice
  • Maxi treated by a Peruvian doctor; CNN truck rushes her to U.N. treatment center
  • Paramedic says more survivors are believed to be trapped in school's rubble
  • Despite days without food or water, victims have clung to life awaiting rescue
  • Haiti
  • Earthquakes
  • Port-au-Prince

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- Writhing in pain in the fetal position, Falone Maxi prayed fiercely for someone to find her beneath the ruins of what was once her university. She forced herself to stay conscious. Her sister visited the leveled site each day in hope of hearing her voice.

"I had hoped I would be rescued," Maxi said.

The 23-year-old, first-year student was finally found and rescued on Monday, nearly a week after a massive earthquake flattened much of Haiti. She said she didn't believe anyone else was alive in the wreckage of the university.

She cried when asked about the smell of death surrounding her as she waited for help.

A CNN crew in the Haitian capital Monday was flagged to the scene at Universite G.O.C. as a Peruvian search-and-rescue team pulled Maxi out of the remains of the flattened school. Rescuers rushed to the scene after hearing reports that text messages had been sent from beneath the rubble, said paramedic Clever Sobrino, who added that rescuers would continue to look for survivors at the site.

Maxi was treated by a Peruvian doctor and taken to a U.N. treatment center on the back of a CNN truck. She was drifting in and out of consciousness, according to reporters at the scene. She was later transported to a field hospital in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Petionville for further treatment.

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Despite going days without food or water, victims have clung to life awaiting rescue, and successful recoveries from the rubble of Port-au-Prince have not abated.

Earlier, 6-year-old Jessica Hartelin was pulled from the rubble by local residents and rushed to a field hospital set up by Israelis at a Port-au-Prince soccer field.

On Sunday, five people were rescued from the rubble of a grocery store, officials told CNN, 24 hours after the effort to reach them began.

Three of the people trapped in the ruins of the Caribbean Supermarket -- a man, a 13-year-old girl and a 50-year-old American woman -- were rescued during the day by a joint New York fire and police department search-and-rescue team.

High-resolution photos of damage | Google map

Late Sunday night, a Creole-speaking man and woman were rescued from the store's ruins by teams from Miami, Florida, and Turkey. The man came out first, picking his head up off the stretcher carried by his rescuers and giving the thumbs-up sign. He said he had been eating peanut butter and jelly from the store to survive.

As of Sunday, more than 60 people had been found alive by rescue teams from the United States and other nations, Tim Callaghan of the U.S. Agency for International Development told reporters. American teams have rescued about 30 of those, he said.

CNN's Anderson Cooper, Susan Candiotti, Rich Phillips, Eric Marrapodi and Chris Lawrence contributed to this report.

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