Gaza Baby Delivered From Dead Mother Dies

Sabreen Jouda weighed just 3.1 pounds when she was delivered by emergency C-section
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2024 7:35 AM CDT
Updated Apr 26, 2024 5:57 AM CDT
Mom Dies After Israeli Attack, Baby Saved via C-Section
Sabreen Jouda lies in an incubator in the Emirati hospital, in the Gaza city of Rafah, on Sunday, April 21, 2024.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Jahjouh)
UPDATE Apr 26, 2024 5:57 AM CDT

A premature baby orphaned by an Israeli airstrike has died less than a week after she was rescued from her dead mother's womb. Sabreen Jouda was almost two months premature when she was delivered by emergency C-section on Sunday. Her lungs hadn't developed properly yet, so she suffered from respiratory distress syndrome and was placed in an incubator, NBC News reports. She weighed just 3.1 pounds when she was born, reports the BBC. Relatives say she died on Thursday and will be buried with other family members killed in the Rafah airstrike, including her parents and her 3-year-old sister.

Apr 22, 2024 7:35 AM CDT

A Palestinian mom-to-be was killed late Saturday in Rafah, one of nearly two dozen people who died after Israeli airstrikes hit multiple homes in Gaza—but her unborn child has been saved. The AP reports that little Sabreen Jouda was born by emergency C-section at the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah, where victims had been taken after the attacks. Her mother didn't make it, nor did her father or 3-year-old sister. Sabreen's mother had been 30 weeks pregnant when she died.

Sabreen, who Reuters notes was born weighing just over 3 pounds, had an admittedly rough entry into the world. The AP describes the newborn as "near death herself, fighting to breathe. Her tiny body lay in the recovery position on a small piece of carpet as medical workers gently pumped air into her open mouth." Doctors were able to save her, but "the situation is still at risk," says Dr. Mohammad Salameh, who heads up the neonatal ICU at the Emirati medical clinic in Rafah, where Sabreen was taken after delivery. "This child should have been in the mother's womb at this time, but she was deprived of this right."

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Doctors expect the baby to be hospitalized for three or four more weeks. "Here is the biggest tragedy: Even if this child survives, she was born an orphan," Salameh says, per Reuters. Meanwhile, a separate airstrike in Rafah killed multiple members of one extended family, including at least a dozen children. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened a ground offensive in Rafah next, and the Guardian reports he has set a date for that, though he hasn't offered details. (More Gaza stories.)

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