A miracle – that’s what Dr Timothy Hardcastle called the newborn baby girl who survived being trapped in a stormwater drain in Newlands East, north of Durban, on Monday.
Hardcastle was on call at Chief Albert Luthuli Central Hospital when the newborn, believed to between one and three days old, was brought in after a gruelling three-hour rescue.
“I think any child who survives any amount of hours – and it sounds like it was at least four to five hours – in a stormwater pipe on days two or three after birth is a miracle. It is mercy from above that she is alive,” said Hardcastle.
Hardcastle, the chief trauma specialist at the hospital, said the little girl was healthy and in good spirits, besides having mild hypothermia on arrival.
“She has been awake, responsive and crying … She is basically stable enough for transfer to one of the base hospitals where they can sort out the social side. But from a medical point of view, things are looking good,” he said.
KZN health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, who went to the hospital to see the newborn, said the baby would be moved to a smaller hospital, then discharged to a place of safety.
“This matter will have to be investigated, to find the parents,” he added.
A case of attempted murder was opened at Newlands East police station, said KZN police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbele.