LONDON: A pregnant woman who was shot, escaped an overturned car and walked for hours from Khartoum to reach the Egyptian border has given birth to a “miracle” baby, The Guardian reported on Sunday.
The 25-year-old woman and her husband are Eritrean refugees. Her husband was given refugee status in the UK, and applied to the Home Office for a refugee family reunion visa in February 2022, the newspaper reported.
The woman with her 3-year-old daughter were stuck in the Sudanese capital when the conflict began. Their home was hit by shelling and they struggled to access food, water and medical treatment. The woman then decided to seek refuge in Egypt.
“We didn’t tell our daughter anything about the war in Khartoum because we didn’t want to frighten her,” the husband told The Guardian.
He continued: “She could hear the sound of gunfire in Khartoum but my wife told her not to worry because it was just fireworks.
“My wife and daughter had to leave everything behind when they escaped from Khartoum.
“My wife just took our marriage certificate and my daughter took one small bear with her she called Mohammed. She asked to name her little brother after her bear.”
The mother and daughter set out on a dangerous four-day journey from Khartoum to the Egyptian border, traveling by lorry, bus and taxi.
During their trip, a wheel came off the car they were traveling in and overturned, The Guardian reported. While some of the passengers were injured, the two were unharmed and were able to bargain a price for continuing their journey in another car.
The two then walked for several hours from Port Sudan to the border crossing in the middle of the night.
The woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy in a Cairo hospital on Wednesday, The Guardian reported.
The husband, who is urgently trying to bring his family to the UK, has accused the Home Office of putting their lives at risk as a result of long delays.
Since 2019, the number of refugees resettled in the UK has fallen by 75 percent, while family reunion visas are 40 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels.
When the couple first applied for a family reunion visa, the usual processing period was 12 weeks, The Guardian reported. However, when the family’s lawyer inquired about the delay in February, 12 months after the application was submitted, the Home Office said they were facing “considerable delays” in family reunion approvals and would be unable to provide an updated time frame for a decision.
“I hope the family reunion visa application will be processed very soon,” the husband said.
He added: “The safe arrival of our baby is a miracle and he is a sign of hope for the future.
“I had to pay a lot of money for the journey out of Khartoum to bring my wife and daughter to safety but money comes and money goes … only life matters.”