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Baby pulled from the rubble reunited with aunt and uncle


A baby born under the rubble of a collapsed building in Syria, and the only member of her immediate family to survive a massive earthquake, has been adopted by her aunt and uncle.

Thousands of people had offered to adopt the newborn, who was still connected to her mother by her umbilical cord when she was rescued.

She was discharged from hospital after a DNA test confirmed her aunt was a blood relative.

Doctors said she was in good health.

“She is one of my children now,” her uncle by marriage Khalil al-Sawadi told the Associated Press news agency.” I will not differentiate between her and my children.”

The baby has now been named after her late mother Afraa. Shortly after she was rescued, officials had named her Aya, which means miracle in Arabic.

Baby pulled from the rubble reunited with aunt and uncle
“She is one of my children now,” Afraa’s uncle Khalil Al-Sawadi said

A video of her rescue shortly after the tremor went viral on social media.

Dramatic footage showed a man sprinting away from the debris as he carried her covered in dust in his arms. She had reportedly been under the collapsed building for more than 10 hours and doctors said she had arrived to hospital in a bad condition, with bruises and cuts all over her body.

Baby pulled from the rubble reunited with aunt and uncle
Afraa’s (right) aunt and uncle also welcomed a baby girl (left) of their own three days after the quake.

The building in which her family lived was one of about 50 reportedly destroyed by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Jindayris, an opposition-held town in Idlib province that is close to the Turkish border.

Her mother went into labour soon after the disaster and gave birth before she died, a relative said. Her father, four siblings and an aunt were also killed.

“This girl means so much to us because there’s no-one left of her family besides this baby,” Mr Sawadi told Reuters news agency. “She’ll be a memory for me, for her aunt and for all of our relatives in the village of her mother and father.”

Mr Sawadi, who was present when she was rescued, told the Associated Press he had been worried someone might kidnap Afraa during her two weeks in hospital as offers to adopt her flooded in.

Baby pulled from the rubble reunited with aunt and uncle
Baby Afraa had been saved by rescuers earlier in February from beneath the rubble of a building in north-west Syria

Her family who took her in said that the best place for Afraa was with family, however difficult their situation.

Mr Sawadi and his wife Hala’s home was also destroyed in the earthquake and they are staying with cousins.

They both welcomed a baby girl born to Hala three days after the earthquake.

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