When the deadly 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico City on September 19, a young mother was rushed from a hospital and out onto a street corner to give birth to her baby boy amidst the chaos that was unfolding.
Jessica Mendoza was already six centimeters dilated at Sanatorio Durango hospital when the disastrous earthquake struck Mexico City and the surrounding area. Doctors and nurses rushed to carry Mendoza from the shaking medical center to the street, where they quickly collected tarp sheets from local police officers and formed a makeshift shelter to continue the birth without anesthesia.
“Despite everything happening around me I carried on with the birth,” Mendoza told Spanish-language newspaper EL PAÍS, according to the New York Times. “I completely isolated myself. I didn’t hear a thing. I just remember that there was my doctor, the nurses, my husband and my mother. They made their way through the chaos in order to find a safe space.”
An hour after the earthquake passed, officials from the hospital announced the building was safe to re-enter, and Mendoza and her husband, Amado Ortiz, went back inside. This time, they had a new member of the family: their child, Adolfo Iñaki.
“The world was falling around us and he came to save ours. It’s the greatest message of love and example of strength and bravery for the world,” Ortiz told the newspaper.
The uniqueness of the birth was not lost on Mendoza.
“It was a miracle,” she said, praising her medical team led by Dr. Elisabeth Valencia.
Little Adolfo’s birth brings a shred of optimism to a situation that has been dire for thousands of victims. The earthquake has caused more than 200 deaths in the nation’s capital and surrounding areas. About 30 children were killed after their school was destroyed, and in another instance, 11 members of a single family were killed when their church collapsed on them during the seismic event.
But it’s not too late to help Mexico rebuild—there are a few ways you can assist in efforts to rescue and aid victims of the earthquake, such as by donating monetary funds, volunteering or using social media to spread information on people still missing since Tuesday.