Born Into a Storm: A Story of Newborn Survival After Typhoon Haiyan

Jolie, newborn, Typhoon Haiyan, Philippines

Two-days old Jolie was born in the same room his family took shelter just days after Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines.

Little Jolie wriggles around in his sleep, stretching, yawning and rubbing his face with his small hands. His mother wipes away tears as she watches over him, still overwhelmed that they’re both alive.

Just two days old, Jolie entered the world less than a week after Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines. He was born in the same room that his parents and four siblings took shelter in during the mega storm.

Abigail and her husband had a two-bedroom bamboo home, but now it’s a pile of rubble. Their belongings were washed out to sea by the storm surge that engulfed the island’s entire coast. Abigail and her family took shelter at her mother-in-law’s house. “I was so stressed that I thought I might give birth during the storm, and I was scared for my baby.”

Jolie was born days later with only the aid of a midwife. He is yet to be seen by a doctor or receive any medical care.

Abigail’s life with Jolie has been made more difficult because she hasn’t been able to breastfeed. Without encouragement and skilled support on how to start breastfeeding, Abigail may feel the need to rely on infant formula which will increase Jolie’s risk of getting sick and dying. It’s a cruel burden for people who have lost almost everything.

“I need help, we all do,” Abigail says. “I am scared for my son and my family. We need clothing, food, livelihood and shelter. We need everything.”

Save the Children is in the field helping families like Jolie’s who have survived the typhoon. With your help, we can provide emergency kits for children and families, including household and hygiene supplies, access to health services through mobile clinics and skilled breastfeeding support to mothers and their newborns.

With caring people like you to support Save the Children's response efforts, the devastation of the storm can become a distant memory for children like Jolie.

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