Categories Blog

Baby saved from Syria quake rubble is under police guard after strangers claim to be related

The baby girl born under the rubble of her earthquake-flattened home in Syria last week is under police guard in the hospital — after strangers started showing up claiming to be relatives, her doctor said.

The newborn named Aya — Arabic for “a sign from God” — has been recovering at the Cihan Hospital in northern Syria ever since she was found with her umbilical cord still attached to her dead mother in the aftermath of the Feb. 6 disaster.

Aya’s miraculous rescue quickly made global headlines and spurred offers of help from across the world — but her doctor, Hani Maarouf, said it also brought unwanted attention.

Several people have shown up at the hospital in recent days falsely claiming to be related to Aya, which prompted local cops to stand guard over her amid fears of a kidnapping plot, the doctor said.

A group of gunmen stormed the same hospital Monday night and attacked the clinic’s director — but an official quickly denied social media reports that it was a kidnapping attempt.

Baby Aya in hospital
Several people have shown up at the hospital in recent days falsely claiming to be related to Aya, doctors said.AFP via Getty Images

The official, who didn’t want to be named, said the hospital’s director had suspected a male nurse who was taking photos of Aya had been planning to kidnap her and kicked him out.

The nurse returned a few hours later flanked by the gunmen.

The armed men told the cops protecting Aya that they were going after the hospital director and weren’t interested in the infant, the official said.

Healthcare worker tends to the baby in the hospital
The newborn named Aya — Arabic for “a sign from God” — has been recovering at the Cihan Hospital in northern Syria since the Feb. 6 earthquake.AFP via Getty Images

It wasn’t immediately clear how badly injured the director was left in the wake of the beating.

Meanwhile, one of Aya’s extended relatives said the newborn was expected to be released from the hospital as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday.

Aya’s paternal aunt, who recently gave birth and survived the quake, will raise her, relatives previously said.

Aya being rescued
Footage of the newborn’s dramatic rescue showed a man frantically running from the rubble clutching the dust-covered baby.AP
Devastation from the earthquake
The death toll from the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria has surpassed 37,000.AP

The baby’s mother, father and four siblings were all killed when the 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated Syria and neighboring Turkey last week.

Rescue workers uncovered Aya — some 10 hours later — when they were digging through the wreckage of the family’s five-story apartment building.

Heartbreaking viral footage of the newborn’s dramatic rescue showed a man frantically running from the rubble clutching the dust-covered baby.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *