A Laval family was ecstatic to hear news from Haiti about their 71-year-old matriarch Sunday, and now hope they can get her back to Canada as soon as possible.

Retired daycare worker Josette Bellange flew to Haiti weeks ago to visit her son and grandchildren, and when a massive earthquake struck Tuesday, her family waited for days with no word, watching as images from Haiti became grimmer by the moment.

"We guessed, 'Are they all dead? What's happening? It's been a nightmare,'" said Josette's niece Tetchena Bellange.

"We were trying to call her and they said there's no communication," added the victim's daughter Gina Beauville.

Finally, granddaughter Tanya received a short phone call from her grandmother, able to tell her she was barely surviving. Josette had no food, no water and said she was frightened and alone.

"It's so good she's alive, but it's for how long?" said Tetchena.

Scrambling to find aid for Josette, the family sought out journalists to search for the Canadian citizen.

Through their efforts, CNN reporter Gary Tuchman received an e-mail and searched for the elderly woman. His efforts were successful.

"Early afternoon he called us. He called on my cell and he told me, 'She's fine - she's safe, she's talking to neighbours, soldiers are there,'" explained Tetchena.

Though they have no confirmation yet, the family hopes their matriarch will soon be on a plane back to Canada with other evacuees.

"Yes, (she's) still alive. It's a miracle, really," said Tetchena.