Beirut nurse scoops up, protects three preemie babies moments after deadly explosion
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, August 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A photographer captured a nurse holding three premature babies whom she had scooped up and carried to safety moments after the massive explosion in Lebanon last week.
16 سنة من التصوير الصحفي والكثير من الحروب. استطيع ان اقول لم أرى كالذي رأيته اليوم في منطقة الاشرفية, وخصوصا امام...Posted by Bilal Marie Jawich on Tuesday, August 4, 2020
The explosion in Beirut on August 4 left the city in ruins with at least 220 deaths, 7,000 injuries and an estimated 300,000 people homeless. However, from the ruins come stories of heroes.
In a hospital in Beirut, Saint George Hospital University Medical Center, an unidentified nurse rescued three premature babies from the neonatal intensive care unit, carrying them to safety. She was pictured speaking on a hospital phone while holding the three premature babies.
The photographer, Bilal Jawich, told CNN Arabic that he was “amazed when I saw the nurse holding three newborns. I noticed the nurse’s calm, which contrasted the surrounding atmosphere just one meter away.”
“However, the nurse looked like she possessed a hidden force that gave her self-control and the ability to save those children,” he continued. “People stand out amidst these violent and dark and evil circumstances and this nurse was up to the task.”
Jawich related that the nurse later told him that she had been in the maternity ward when the blast hit. She said she had been knocked unconscious and came around to find herself “carrying these three children.”
The blast destroyed hospitals when they were needed most, leaving two so ravaged that they were forced to shut down completely. The New York Times reported that four nurses and at least 13 patients were killed by the explosion at Saint George Hospital University Medical Center, and at Hopital des Soeurs du Rosaire, one nurse was killed and another nurse’s legs were broken.
“All the lifts are broken, all the respirators, all the monitors, all the doors — everything is destroyed,” said Dr. Joseph Elias, the head of the cardiology department at Hopital des Soeurs du Rosaire.
“We were barely functioning before and now we are underground, below zero,” said Tony Toufic, an engineer at Saint George Hospital who had little hope of aid from Lebanon’s dysfunctional government.
As power failures put lights and elevators out of commission, patients and hospital staff were forced to make their way through debris down staircases in darkness, some coming down from as high as nine floors.
Patients were moved to undamaged hospitals elsewhere, and the seriously injured were treated in corridors and parking lots. Hospitals were forced to turn many away.