Turkey earthquake: Dozens call with offer to adopt baby girl Aya pulled from rubble
Dozens of people have offered to adopt a baby girl whose mother died giving birth to her under the rubble of their home in north-west Syria during Monday’s earthquake.
Video footage on social media showed the naked newborn surrounded by destroyed buildings in the freezing winter before a man carried her away on Tuesday.
Her parents reportedly died in the building collapse in Jenderes, near the city of Afrin, which sustained major damage in the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria.
All four of her siblings also died as a result of the quake, reports said.
Now baby Aya, as she has been named, is safe at a Syrian American Medical Society hospital, a senior member of staff for the organisation told The National.
A distant relative Khalil Al Suwadi brought her to paediatrician Dr Hani Marouf in Afrin, according to a BBC report.
“She arrived on Monday in such a bad state. She had bumps, bruises, she was cold and barely breathing,” Dr Marouf told the BBC.
Hospital manager Dr Khalid Attiah told the BBC he had received dozens of calls from people all over the world wanting to adopt baby Aya.
“I won’t allow anyone to adopt her now,” said Dr Attiah, who has a daughter four months older than Aya. “Until her distant family return, I’m treating her like one of my own.”
Thousands more have taken to social media to ask if they can adopt little Aya.
One prospective parent emailed a reporter at The National after seeing a report on its website on Tuesday.
“Something compelled me to write to you and ask if you have any contacts that I could reach out to about adopting this baby,” said the email.
“I’m sure there are so many other babies and small children that may have been orphaned in Syria after this terrible earthquake and need help.”
One Kuwaiti TV anchor said: “I’m ready to take care of and adopt this child if legal procedures allow me to.”
Hopes were fading on Friday morning of finding more people alive after the devastating earthquake.
More than 20,700 deaths have been recorded so far in the world’s deadliest earthquake since 2010.
Rescuers pulled more survivors from beneath collapsed buildings late on Thursday, including a girl, 10, in Antakya district in Turkey’s Hatay province.
DHA news agency said after making initial contact with the child, rescuers worked for 32 hours at the site to clear a passage to her.
Medics had to amputate one of her arms to free the girl from the rubble because removing the block that was crushing her would have endangered her further, the news agency reported.
The girl’s parents and three siblings were found dead.
An hour before that, rescuers pulled a girl, 17, from the rubble in Adiyaman province. Miners and others brought her out and medics took her to an ambulance on a stretcher, with an IV bag hanging.
They briefly clapped before a rescuer asked for silence. Also, a 20 year old was rescued in Kahramanmaras by IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation workers, who shouted “God is Great”.