Philippines 'Miracle' Baby Born Among Rubble After Typhoon Haiyan

Image: Philippines 'Miracle' Baby Born Among Rubble After Typhoon Haiyan Bea Joy was born on Nov. 11 at an improvised clinic at Tacloban airport.

Monday, 11 Nov 2013 06:55 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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A "miracle" baby girl born in the horrific aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan brings a piece of joy to a community devastated by the storm that killed as many as 10,000 people.

The baby’s mother, Emily Sagalis, named her new daughter Bea Joy in honor of her mother, Beatriz, who was swept away in the flood waters and hasn’t been found, Agence France-Presse said. The family’s home was in one of the hardest-hit areas near Tacloban. The home was swept miles inland by huge waves and the family was all washed outside, Sagalis’ husband told AFP.

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Little Bea Joy was born Monday in a makeshift hospital set up in a destroyed airport.

“She is my miracle. I had thought I would die with her still inside me when high waves came and took us all away,” Sagalis told AFP.

“We are supposed to be celebrating today, but we are also mourning our dead,” Sagalis’ husband, Jobert, told AFP. He told of finding his wife floating in the debris, finally taking shelter in a school as the waters receded.

Rescue workers are trying to reach survivors but are being slowed by the devastation in the area. The typhoon was one of the worst storms ever recorded.

"From a helicopter, you can see the extent of devastation. From the shore and moving a kilometer inland, there are no structures standing. It was like a tsunami," Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas told Reuters. "I don't know how to describe what I saw. It's horrific."

Bea Joy’s birth in the midst of such tragedy may bring joy, but doctors said there are still concerns for Sagalis, who began bleeding during delivery. Although the bleeding was stopped, her doctor told AFP that there is still concern about infection and sepsis in such an unsterile environment and with no drugs.

“So we need to give her intravenous antibiotics. Unfortunately we ran out of even the oral antibiotics yesterday,” the doctor told AFP.

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