In Jinderis, a tiny village in Syria near the Turkish border, a newborn infant was rescued from the wreckage of a fallen structure. The mother of the infant gave birth while buried beneath their home’s wreckage, and she was discovered with the umbilical chord still attached. While the infant is currently recovering in a hospital, the physicians describe this rescue as nothing short of a miracle.
Residents digging through a collapsed building in a north-west Syrian town have rescued a crying infant whose mother gave birth to her while buried ᴜɴᴅᴇʀɴᴇᴀᴛʜ the rubble from the ᴅᴇᴠᴀsᴛᴀᴛɪɴɢ earthquake. The newborn girl’s ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ was still connected to her mother, Afraa Abu Hadiya, who ᴅɪᴇᴅ before rescuers could reach her. The baby was the only member of her family to survive after the building they lived in ᴄᴏʟʟᴀᴘsᴇᴅ.
Monday’s pre-dawn 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed by multiple ᴀғᴛᴇʀsʜᴏᴄᴋs, caused widespread ᴅᴇsᴛʀᴜᴄᴛɪᴏɴ across southern Turkey and northern Syria — including the small town of Jinderis, next to the Turkish border, where the girl was found. The baby girl was rescued more than 10 hours after the quake struck.
After she was dug out, a female neighbor ᴄᴜᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏʀᴅ before the infant was rushed to hospital.
Video of the rescue on social media shows the moments after the baby was ʀᴇᴍᴏᴠᴇᴅ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴜʙʙʟᴇ, with a man lifting her up, her ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ sᴛɪʟʟ ᴅᴀɴɢʟɪɴɢ, and rushing away as another man throws him a blanket to wrap her in.
Dr Hani Maarouf said the girl was being kept in an ɪɴᴄᴜʙᴀᴛᴏʀ.
He said the baby’s body temperature had fallen to 35C and she had ʙʀᴜɪsᴇs, including a large one on her back, but she was otherwise in a stable condition.
Dr Maarouf said the girl’s mother must have been conscious during the birth and must have ᴅɪᴇᴅ sᴏᴏɴ after. He estimated the baby was born several hours before being found, given the amount her temperature had dropped.
Dr Maarouf said that if the girl had been born just before the quake or rescued later, she would not have survived.
“Had the girl been left for an hour more, she would have ᴅɪᴇᴅ,” he said.
When the earthquake hit before dawn on Monday, Ms Abu Hadiya, her husband Abdullah Turki Mleihan and their four children apparently tried to rush out of their apartment building but it ᴄᴏʟʟᴀᴘsᴇᴅ on them.
Family relative Ramadan Sleiman said their bodies were found near the building’s entrance.
“She (the baby girl) was found in front of her mother’s legs,” he said. “After the dust and rocks were removed, the girl was found alive.”
Dr Maarouf said the baby weighed 3.175kg, an average weight for a newborn.
“Our only concern is the ʙʀᴜɪsᴇ on her back and we have to see whether there is any problem with her sᴘɪɴᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ,” he said, adding that she was moving her legs and arms normally.
Search teams and aid has poured into Syria and Turkey, with workers combating freezing conditions and often using their bare hands to dig through the rubble.
The ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ toll has soared to more than 7800 and is still rising.