Last week, the devastating Beirut blast had injured thousands of people. One selfless nurse saved three babies from dying, which was caught on camera by photographer Bilal Jawich. Now, the nurse talks about how she managed to get the infants despite all the commotion.
Photojournalist Bilal Jawich captured the photo at the Saint George Hospital University Medical Center on the day that a massive explosion happened in Beirut. The photo shows nurse Pamela Zeinoun cradling three premature newborn babies.
The nurse was calm after the blast.
Jawich told TODAY Parents that dead bodies and bloody, crying people surrounded the nurse. The photographer was astonished and surprised by how calm Zeinoun was while doing her duty. He said that the nurse was not even trying to be a hero.
Zeinoun was unconscious for a while, and when she woke up, she found herself carrying the three infants in her arms. She attempted to call her mother when Jawich captured the photo. Jawich said that the phones were not working since everything was destroyed.
The nurse felt the babies were hers.
The nurse rescued the infants from their incubators as the roof collapsed on them. Zeinoun told ITV News that she felt that the babies were hers and under her protection. She said that if the babies are going to make it, they will make it with her.
A mom gave birth after the blast.
Emmanuel Khnaisser was preparing for her delivery at the same hospital when the blast happened. Her husband, Edmund Khnaisser, captured the scary moment. He told BBC that he was afraid that his wife or his baby was dead because everything was shattering around them.
Yesterday My son George was Born under a catostraphic blast! It was crazy! I did not believe we came out alive. My wife... Posted by Eddy Khnaisser on Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Thankfully, Emmanuel safely gave birth to her son, George. Her husband explained that his wife gave birth to the "old-style labor" way, where there is no electricity or medications. He wrote on Facebook that they greatly appreciate St. George Hospital's team because they stayed with them until they were safe.
Edmond wrote on behalf of his son thanking the staff for bringing him safely into the world. He prays for the safety of everyone, including for Lebanon as a whole.
The Beirut blast
The Beirut blast that happened on August 4 has killed more than 200 people and injured more than 6,000. Apart from that, it had left about 300,000 people homeless. Lebanon's General Security Chief, Abbas Ibrahim, said that ammonium nitrate had caused the blast in the city's port area.
The highly explosive materials were confiscated from an Africa-bound ship in 2013, said the Lebanese officials. The explosion was said to be about one-fifth of the size of the blast that happened in 1945 in Hiroshima, Japan.
The WHO assessed the city's 55 healthcare facilities. It found that half of them were not functioning normally. Beirut's three major hospitals had to close down, and three others had reduced capacity due to the blast.
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