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‘It Was a Miracle’: Newborn Baby Rescued Alive After Being Washed Down Storm Drain

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Rescue teams in South Africa were astonished to find a newborn baby alive after it was dumped and washed into a deep storm drain.


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Will Maule

Rescue teams in South Africa were astonished to find a newborn baby alive after it was dumped and washed into a deep storm drain. First responders were alerted to the emergency when residents reported hearing the cries of a young baby coming from the drain. When rescuers arrived, they discovered that the child, a little girl, was actually inside the concrete pipe, and set upon digging her out.

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“An intense rescue operation was started. We had to dig down, then once we reached the concrete drain, we had to chisel through it, being extra cautious with the little baby inside,” said Garrith Jamieson, Operations Director at Rescue Care, a privately owned emergency medical service offering pre-hospital care to the coastal city. “We had to use a hammer and a chisel to gain entry into the pipe. Then, rescuers managed to grip the little girl, who was crying and in good spirits.”

When asked whether he thought the hand of God was at work in this staggering rescue, Jamieson told South African news outlet eNCA:

“We commonly find babies being dumped, but I can honestly say this is my first time [finding a baby] in a stormwater drain. I do think it was a miracle. It was raining last night, this little baby was washed down from up on the roadway. To be found alive and well, crying and in good spirits, I really do think it’s a miracle.”

Eyewitnesses at the scene described the dramatic moments they discovered the infant trapped inside the drainage system.

“I’m a father, I’ve got a five-year-old daughter. To see that baby, I had tears in my face,” one man said. “I was just like ‘Get this baby out!’”

After being transferred to Chief Albert Luthuli hospital, news came through that this brave little one was doing well.

“She has been awake, responsive and crying,” Dr. Timothy Hardcastle told News24 Durban. “Her glucose and sugar levels are good.”

“I think any child who survives any amount of hours—and it sounds like it was at least four to five hours—in a stormwater pipe on days two or three after birth is a miracle,” the doctor added, according to TimesLive. “It is mercy from above that she is alive.”

“She has been awake, responsive and crying,” Hardcastle said of her current condition. “She is basically stable enough for transfer to one of the base hospitals where they can sort out the social side. But from a medical point of view, things are looking good.”

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Do continue to pray for this little one as she recovers from such a traumatic ordeal.