It is a glimmer of hope in a country wracked with the devastation of war. A live birth after a pregnant woman is struck by a bomb in Aleppo, and a happy ending for both mother and baby, despite the odds against them both. For a brief moment, that miracle drowns out the darkness.
The mother had been trying to reach the hospital in Aleppo, a Syrian city currently under siege, when she suddenly became the victim of an airstrike. Only a handful of doctors are left in the dangerous war zone, but the ones that were there to accept her knew they had to take immediate action. They began pulling inch-long shrapnel from her body, which was severely injured. She a broken arm, a broken leg, and was still in shock as they began to pull the baby from her gashed stomach.
The baby was, at first, silent and white. Footage shows him laying on a green plastic sheet, his white umbilical cord still attached but blocked with forceps. There is no sign of life.
“Is his heart beating,” someone had asked.
The doctor responded, “No, I am sorry.” But they pumped the baby’s chest anyway, desperately hoping to start his heart.
Almost hopeless at this point, they use a bulb to try and remove any fluid that may be trapped in his nose and throat. Then the umbilical cord flutters, just a trace of blood starts to flow through it– a sign of life!
In what seems like a violent action, the doctor takes the baby and turns him upside down, smacking his bottom and shaking him. It seems cruel, but in just a matter of moments, the little boy’s eyes open, his face scrunches, and then . . . a cry!
The doctor smiled and told the person holding the camera, “After 20 minutes of resuscitation, we have recovery.” Though surrounded by death and tragedy, in that moment, there was reason to celebrate.