An orphaned baby girl is adopted in the rubble of an earthquake in Syria – and renamed after her mother

Amid the devastation caused by earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, one story offered a glimmer of hope: a baby girl was rescued after being born under the rubble of her family’s building.

The baby girl’s story has touched many hearts, with many offering to adopt her – and now, she has a new home with the uncle who helped save her life.

was the child He was born in Jenderes, SyriaSometime after the catastrophic earthquake that hit the area on February 6 with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale. Her family members – including her mother, father, four siblings and aunt – perished, according to AFP.

Only when rescuers were searching to identify the bodies of her family did they hear her cry. Among those who searched the rubble was the child’s uncle, Khalil Al-Sawadi, who told L.A News agency They had rushed there after the earthquake and were digging through the rubble when they heard the infant.

Khalil Al-Sawadi holds a baby girl, Afra, who was born under the rubble struck by the earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey, in the town of Jenderes, Aleppo Governorate, Syria.

Ghaith Al-Sayed/AFP


When they found her, she was still attached to her mother, prompting Al-Sawadi to grab a razor he had in his pocket and use it to cut the umbilical cord, he said. After trying to get her to two hospitals that they said were too full for more patients, they finally got her the care she needed at a children’s hospital.

Hani Maarouf, a pediatrician who was helping to care for the baby at the hospital, said that when she first arrived, she was “in such a bad state.”

“She had bumps and bruises, she was cold and could hardly breathe,” Maarouf told the Associated Press. “If the girl had been left for another hour, she would have died.”

It was there that officials gave the baby a name, Aya, which is the Arabic name for “Aya of God,” according to the Associated Press. Her story quickly made headlines, and it wasn’t long before that Offer to adopt the baby It started flowing. The director of the hospital where the child was being treated told the BBC that he had received many calls from people to see if they could take her.

CBS News shared the baby girl’s story on TikTok, with one saying, “I would love to adopt this baby because she has no family left.” Another said, “If she didn’t have a family I would take her. She melts my heart.”

Al-Sawadi renamed her Afra, the same name given to her mother, who died in the earthquake. The Associated Press said Al-Sawadi, his wife and their six children are staying with the family in Jindris where their home was also destroyed in the quake, but they are excited to bring her over. One of their children was born just days after Ofra. .

Al-Sawadi told the outlets, “She is now one of my children, and I will not differentiate between her and my children.” “She will be more precious than my children because she will keep the memories of her father and her brothers and sisters… I will raise her in such a way that she will not feel the need for anything.”

And Ofra’s family are among the thousands who died in the earthquake and its aftermath. The Associated Press said their home in Jenderes was one of dozens of buildings destroyed. The death toll is approaching 45,000 peoplewhich makes the disaster one of the The deadliest earthquakes of the 21st century and the deadliest in over a decade.

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