We tend to think of newborns as being helpless and needy, unable to survive on their own for a day, let alone a few days. But they are surprisingly resilient and you’d be surprised what some babes can make it through. Here are 8 stories of amazing things babies have actually managed to survive through, in most of the cases, completely unscathed.
Be warned: While the following stories are miraculous stories of survival, many of the tales are also quite depressing, particularly those not involving natural disasters. If you are at all sensitive to violence against children, do not continue reading.
Illustrative image via j2dread [Flickr]
A Bullet in the Chest
When one couple in Argentina decided the world was going to end due to global warming, they decided the best thing they could do to protect their children from such a terrible fate was to end their lives. To that point, Francisco Lotero and Miriam Coletti shot their two-year old in the back, their seven-month old in the chest and themselves in the head. Three days later, police showed up after a neighbor let them know about the terrible odor emitting from their apartment.
While the toddler and his parents were definitely deceased, the infant had not only survived a shot to the chest, but also going without food or water for three days. Amazingly, once it was taken to the hospital and treated, its condition started to improve almost immediately and he ended up being completely fine.
A Seven-Story Fall
When an 18-month old fell from a seventh-story window, it almost certainly wouldn’t have survived if it weren’t for a number of fortunate circumstances that left him safe and secure in the end. First, an off-duty doctor just happened to be across the street from the building where it occurred and happened to notice the child playing near an open window. Because he was able to see what was about to happen, he was able to run across the street and position himself in the perfect place to catch the flying babe.
The second lucky coincidence was that the awning of the café below the boy’s window just happened to break the day before, so it was still open, even though the café was close that day. Thanks to the awning, the baby was given a movie-esque landing, bouncing off the awning, right into the doctor’s arms. The doc checked him out and noticed he was totally fine despite still falling six stories before crashing onto an awning. As an extra precaution, the baby was taken to a hospital, but the doctor’s initial assessment was correct, the little tike was totally fine in spite of his ordeal.
A Ten-Story Fall
As if a seven story fall onto an awning wasn’t impressive enough, one baby in Japan managed to survive an even bigger drop after his father, who had gone temporarily insane due to the stress of his high-pressure job, threw him out of a ten-story window. The one-year old fell into some bushes outside the building and managed to survive with only a few cuts. His father immediately reported himself to the police and was taken away for a psychiatric evaluation after the baby was confirmed to be alive and well.
Struck By An SUV
Every new parent is terrified of getting in a car crash when they first strap their baby into their car, but one thing you never expect is for an SUV to hit your baby when she is asleep in her crib. Unfortunately, that’s just what happened to Kenneth Enright’s 10-month-old daughter.
An SUV plowed through the family’s home, smashing immediately into the baby’s crib. Amazingly, despite being thrown from her crib, lodged under the SUV’s bumper and slamming into a wall and a door frame, little Aylina was fine. She was pulled out from under the front bumper of the SUV, still wrapped in her purple blanket with only a few scratches and otherwise completely unharmed.
A Raging Tornado
When a tornado destroyed their home, Joe Soyring and Nichole Opperman feared the worst when it came to finding their 14-month-old son amongst the rubble. The boy was sleeping in his crib when the tornado tore through the house and threw him about 40 feet in the air. Amazingly, when they were out looking for little Blake, they heard a tiny cry coming from a pile of rubble. After digging through the debris, they started seeing pieces of his crib and finally, his mattress. Once they lifted up the mattress, they found the baby who was unharmed from the ordeal.
A Rod Through the Brain
Carlton Reed was watching his nephew one day when seventeen-month old feel out of a chair, landing right on the rod of a power washer. The rod went about three inches into the boy’s brain, barely missing the torcula vein that carries blood between the brain and heart. Luckily, Reed had training as an EMT and knew the best thing he could do while waiting for the ambulance was to ensure the boy’s head moved as little as possible.
Poor Jessiah’s chances of survival seemed pretty slim when he was checked into the care of neurosurgeons at the local hospital. Doctors warned the family that when they pulled the rod from the boy’s head, he would most likely bleed to death. Except, that’s not what happened. The boy not only survived the surgery, but only a day later, he was already back to his usual chipper self, smiling and acting as though he had no idea that anything major happened the day before.
Being Drug by A Train
Any parents out there that rely on public transportation, remember to be particularly cautious when it comes to using your stroller on a train platform. Australia launched a campaign trying to remind the public of this particular fact when only a day later, a six-month old almost died after his stroller rolled off the platform and right into the path of an oncoming train. The mother let go of the stroller for only a second, but it was enough for the baby to roll onto the tracks. Only a few seconds later, the train pulls into the station.
The train was already coming to a stop, but it still traveled almost 100 feet before coming to a full halt, dragging the baby and its stroller the whole time. Shockingly, the infant managed to come out of the accident with only a cut on its forehead.
A Massive Earthquake
There were a surprisingly high number of stories of infants and toddlers surviving the earthquake in Haiti back in 2010. Even so, the story of Elisabeth Joassaint stands out from the rest as the 23-day old managed to survive eight full days under rubble. Other than being a little dehydrated, the girl was fine once she was pulled from the wreckage.
But How Do They Do It?
But why are babies, who seem so fragile and helpless, so good at surviving these kinds of disasters and accidents? The Survivor’s Lab argues that Mother Nature has actually given them a few advantages when it comes to escaping these rough spots. For one, around 15% of a newborn’s weight is body fat intended to help nourish the baby as it waits to receive milk from its mother. Some researchers have suggested that in the right circumstances, babies can survive weeks without food.
Additionally, baby’s bodies are made particularly flexible and stress-resistant to help them go through childbirth unscathed. It’s the same reason their skull hasn’t fused together yet –it makes them more malleable. Their bodies are also naturally tuned to help them adapt in any circumstance and under pressure, they can even slow their metabolic rates by not moving, helping them save much-needed energy and water.
They are also better prepared mentally for experiences that would drive a normal adult batty. Think about it, if you were buried under a pile of rubble, you would be freaking out the whole time. But babies are used to being in the tight, dark, quiet confines of their mother’s womb. For them, being buried alive is a relatively normal feeling, preventing them from stressing themselves out further during these types of ordeals.
Have any more stories of infant or toddler survival? Share them in the comments. And remember, even if your baby is one of the toughest around, it’s still better to shower them with love, warmth and lots of food.