Girl, 7, Protects Brother With Own Body for 36 Hours While Buried Under Rubble of Destroyed Home

Heartbreaking visuals of a little girl shielding her younger brother’s head trapped under concrete ruins have been circulating on the internet after a deadly earthquake claimed the lives of thousands of people.

After a horrifying 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit parts of Turkey and Syria, the internet flooded with videos of buildings crumbling into ruins and people crying for their loved ones.

Amidst such spine-chilling content, a video of a little girl and her brother surfaced on social media, and viewers couldn’t help but feel heartbroken after learning their story.

A Wave of Sudden Panic
Like most people, Mustafa Zuhir Al-Sayed, his wife, and three children were fast asleep in their home in Syria when fate put them in a stressful, horrifying situation they had never imagined.

Laying in the most comfortable place of their house, the family suddenly felt everything shake. Al-Sayed recalls seeing pieces of concrete falling on him and his family―a terrifying situation no one deserves to go through.

Like many other victims of this frightening natural disaster, Al-Sayed could do nothing to protect his family. He felt helpless, scared, and confused, but he never gave up hope.

Time Was Running Out
After the devastating earthquake and the aftershocks that followed ruined parts of Syria and Turkey, rescuers began to look for people who needed help. The death toll kept rising in the hours to follow, and many families were left heartbroken after learning their loved ones were no more.

“But get us out of here,” she pleaded.
Several people volunteered to rescue the victims trapped deep under the ruins and managed to save many lives during the next few hours. However, as time passed, the chances of people coming out alive decreased significantly.

Surviving on Hope
Meanwhile, Al-Sayed and his family were still breathing under the ruins. They couldn’t move or help themselves, but all they could do was pray. Pray that someone would save them soon.

For the next 36 hours, Al-Sayed and his family prayed loud, hoping someone would hear their voices. They didn’t give up despite having no food or water for almost two days. Soon, an emergency worker saw Al-Sayed’s two children trapped under the concrete ruins and rushed to help them.

The Heartbreaking Video
In the video filmed by the rescuer, seven-year-old Mariam looks at the camera while shielding her brother’s head under her elbow. She looks at her brother, Ilaaf, and brushes his hair with her hand. Not sure whether the unknown man would help her, Mariam said:

“Sir, if you rescue me and my brother, I’ll do whatever you want.”

“But get us out of here,” she pleaded. Fearing for her and Ilaaf’s life, Mariam also offered to be the rescuer’s servant if he saved them―a request that broke the hearts of millions of viewers worldwide.

A Horrifying Experience
The emergency worker assured Mariam she wouldn’t need to do any of those things. A second visual showed the two children, covered in blankets, sitting on a bed. According to reports, they were taken to the hospital, and Al-Sayed’s entire family was rescued.

What Al-Sayed and his family went through was something no one should experience. He felt grateful to God for giving him and his family another chance at life, while thanking emergency workers who heard and rescued them.

The Online Response
After Mariam and Ilaaf’s heartbreaking video made rounds on the internet, netizens couldn’t help but share their thoughts in the comment section. Here’s what they had to say:

“What a brave little girl. How strong and caring she is. God bless her and be with them.”

― (@Anna Galea) February 8, 2023

“It breaks my heart to see the innocent little girl protecting her little brother. God bless them alive!”

― (@Irene Kouseband) February 8, 2023

“Poor little girl! She did a good job protecting her brother.”

― (@Tina Travers) February 8, 2023

“She was his guardian angel and was meant to be there with him. May God continue watching over both of them. God is good. Sending the power of prayers.”

― (@Pat Contreras) February 8, 2023

Another Child Rescued
Besides Mariam and Ilaaf, emergency workers rescued many others. One was a sole survivor of her family of 7―a newborn baby girl rescued three hours after her birth.

According to the witnesses, they heard a voice after finding the mother unresponsive. They thought it must be her husband but were shocked to see a newborn baby girl wailing under the rubble while her umbilical cord was still attached to her mother.

The little girl, who was later named Aya, was taken to a nearby hospital. The doctors revealed that her body temperature was too low, and her skin was bruised. However, her condition soon stabilized, and she is now under observation in the hospital.

Despite being born under the rubble and receiving no immediate medical care, fate allowed Aya to breathe under the concrete ruins. We hope the little girl never has to go through such a horrifying situation again. We also pray that Al-Sayed would be able to build another home for his little family.

Click here to read another story about a mother who said she would save herself over her baby during labor, but other moms slammed her for it.

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