‘Heroine’ nurse protected 3 newborns at hospital hit by Beirut explosion

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 2:15 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 6, 2020 at 6:24 AM CDT
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BEIRUT (Gray News) - As Lebanon’s capital city grapples with the aftermath of an explosion that killed at least 135 people, a nurse who saved three newborns at a Beirut hospital is receiving praise for her actions.

Photojournalist Bilal Jawich told CNN Arabic when the explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, “professional intuition” took him to the St. George University Hospital, also known as the Al Roum hospital. The area had been badly damaged by the blast.

With dead and wounded people all around, one nurse, who was cradling three newborns as she called for help, stood out to Jawich.

“I was amazed when I saw the nurse holding three newborns,” he said. “I noticed the nurse’s calm, which contrasted the surrounding atmosphere just one meter away. People stand out amidst these violent and dark and evil circumstances, and this nurse was up to the task.”

Jawich told CNN Arabic the nurse later said she was in the maternity ward during the explosion and had been knocked unconscious. When she came to, she “found herself carrying these three children.”

The photojournalist called the nurse a “heroine” in a Facebook post.

Authorities say the explosion killed at least 135 people and wounded about 5,000 others, according to the Associated Press.

George Saad, emergency preparedness and disaster manager for St. George, told CNN that 18 of those deaths – 12 patients, two visitors and four nurses – happened at the hospital. Some 80% of the building and 50% of its equipment was damaged.

Saad said the babies in the picture and their mothers have been transferred to other hospitals.

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