When first responder Elton Fernado Barbosa arrived on the scene of a fatal truck crash, the last thing he expected to find was a newborn baby.
But that is exactly what he found. Lying on the side of the road, close to her mother’s body was a newborn baby girl, covered in blood, crying softly and – miraculously – unharmed.
According to media outlets, the baby was hurled from her mother’s uterus in what doctors have described as both an “accidental Caesarean” and a “miracle”.
WARNING: This post contains graphic content.
What exactly happened?
Earlier this week truck driver Jonathan Ferreira was travelling on a motorway in Brazil when he stopped to pick up a heavily pregnant woman who needed a lift.
Unfortunately, soon after he lost control of the truck, which flipped and hurled the mum-to-be from the cabin.
During the accident, a load of wooden planks came loose, crushing the pregnant woman and killing her on impact. Doctors believe the force of the accident tore the baby girl from her mother’s womb. Unbelievably, the baby landed in soft grass on the side of the road.
Baby born during horror road accident
Paramedics were immediately called to the scene, aware that the crash had injured one man and killed a woman. But there was no report of a baby.
Elton Fernando Barbosa discovered the newborn only a few metres away from her dead mother.
“I went looking for the fatal victim who was underneath the wood, when I heard the cries of a baby,” Barbosa told Brazil’s A Tribuna newspaper.
“The foetus was literally expelled by the impact on the mother, the impact was so great that this opened up the mother’s belly and the child was ejected.” Paramedic Elton Fernando Barbosa
The baby’s umbilical cord had been cut in the crash, but she was otherwise completely unharmed.
‘A miracle that she survived’
What happened to that young mother and her baby is incredibly horrifying to imagine. And it’s even harder to believe that a newborn could survive.
But survive she did.
“She was perfect, healthy, without a scratch. We can say that, in those circumstances, it was really a miracle that she survived,” Barbosa explains.
“I’ll be honest. It was God. By what I saw, I have no idea how she came out alive. The mother was underneath several planks of wood. I don’t know how this child got out of there with her life.”
Nurses at the Brazilian hospital where the baby is being looked after have named her Giovanna, which means ‘protected by God’.
Mother’s identity remains a mystery
Unfortunately the identity of the mother remains a mystery. All officials know is that she was 39-weeks pregnant. They are still trying to work out who she was and track down baby Giovanna’s relatives.
The truck driver, who was treated for minor injuries, has since been charged with manslaughter.