The incredible story of baby girl who managed to survive while both her parents drowned last week has shocked and moved all of Greece.
The 17-month old girl was aboard a vessel with other undocumented immigrants off the shore of Crete. All passengers fell into the sea when the boat overturned. According to reports, just six survivors were discovered on September 12; twenty, including the girl’s father and mother, are thought to have drowned. A 19-year old survivor found the child in the water and gave her a life vest to help her stay afloat. Upon rescue, the baby was transfered to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the University General Hospital of Crete.
“This 19-year old girl saw the parents of the unfortunate baby drowning from hypothermia and gave the child a lifevest survive,” said the director of the hospital’s pediatric ICU, Mr. George Briasoulis, on Cretapost.gr.
“The history of the baby is incredible. She survived four days and three nights at sea. This alone shows her tremendous will to live,” related pediatrician K. Papazoglou.
“The unfortunate girl came to us with symptoms of hypothermia, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances and was immediately introduced in Pediatric ICU. Everyone gave their best to treat the little girl and I feel the need to express my satisfaction with the progress of his health. All hospital staff – medical, nursing, paramedical and administrative – gave 100% of their effort to help this girl. I must say that the forecasts for the child’s condition was grim from the beginning, but its current condition shows that this girl knows how to survive,” added Nick Charitakis, the Cretan Hospital director.
Doctors are optimistic about the girl’s recovery “For several days the little girl was on mechanical support,” read an official statement. “However, the situation seems to be improving day by day.”
The girl’s story has touched many Greek families, some of whom have indicated a desire to adopt her.
“It’s amazing the interest of people for this girl. I am impressed on how many people have called the hospital to express their love and sympathy for the child and to indicate their desire to adopt her. This issue, of course, will be handled by the Directorate of Social Welfare in Chania and anyone interested can contact them,” said Mr. Charitakis.
Little is known about the child, who speaks Arabic. Doctors have made an effort to learn basic phrases to communicate with her.
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