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(CNN) — On Thursday, Jimmy Jean-Louis finally received the phone call he had longed for: He spoke with his mother in Haiti. “I got a phone call from my sister who said she was able to reach home,” the Haitian native and “Heroes” cast member said. ” So I picked up the phone and my mom answered. The first reaction from both of us was simply to cry.”

The actor had been searching for his elderly parents in Haiti after a powerful earthquake struck his homeland. Adding to his desperation to find them was the knowledge that the house he had grown up in had collapsed during the disaster, killing several of his relatives.

Now he knows that his parents are safe physically, although they are sleeping outdoors for fear that their damaged home is not safe. While they are whole in body, emotionally and mentally his parents are in rough shape, Jean-Louis said.

“They don’t understand what’s going on,” Jean-Louis said. “It’s almost like saying ‘Why [are we] living?’ Shock is an understatement.”

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