“Daddy going in after Mommy, into labour room! As soon as the blast came out and hurt everyone. Dear Doctors, Thank you for bringing me safely into this world. I hope I can pay you back one day. You are my heroes. Special Thanks to Dr Anestasiades and all Saint George Hospital team!”, says a special post on Instagram.
The Miracle Baby who was being born just as the blast hit Lebanon, turns one month old on Sept 4, 2020. An Instagram account has been set up in his name.
His dad Edmond Khnaisser had meant to capture his son’s first moments on camera. Instead, he ended up recording the biggest blast in Beirut’s history, which sent whole windows crashing onto his wife Emmanuelle’s hospital bed.
Edmond had stepped into the delivery room to support his 28 year-old wife’s through the birth of their son.
“I saw death with my own eyes…I started feeling “Is it over?”, he told Reuters in an interview, weeks after the blast.
“I was looking around and at the ceiling, just waiting for it to fall on us,” his wife Emmanuelle said of the direct aftermath of the massive blast that injured 6000 and killed more than 170 people in Beirut on Aug. 4.
Brushing off blood and shattered glass, medical staff instinctively carried Emmanuelle into the corridor, fearing another explosion could follow. About to faint and shaken to the core, Emmanuelle said she knew she had to just focus all her attention on giving birth.
“He has to come to life and I have to be very strong,” she told herself.
Right after the blast, Stephanie Yacoub, Chief Resident of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St. George Hospital University Medical Centre, had run out the room to help an injured nurse. But it was too late; the nurse died. Yacoub hurried back to Emmanuelle straight away to help her give birth, along with Professor Elie Anastasiades and a team of medics. “There was no electricity and the sun was starting to set, so we knew we had to get this done as soon as possible. And with the use of people’s phone lights, he came into the world,” she told media persons days after the blast.
Seventeen people died in St. George hospital right after the blast and dozens were injured, including Edmond Khnaisser’s mother, who suffered six broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Running back and forth between his wife and his mother, Khnaisser said he had one objective in mind, to get his new son George to safety. As they got into strangers’ cars and out of the blast’s perimeter, the extent of the destruction started to sink in. They eventually made it to a hospital right outside of the capital where George was finally bathed and cleaned.
“George is very special. He is the light in the darkness, a birth in wreckage,” Edmond said, proudly showing pictures of his son on the Instagram page he created for the boy, who they now call ‘Miracle Baby’ George.
(With inputs from Reuters)
For more images: Check out George’s Instagram Page 😊 miraclebabygeorge