Yoav Elani with newborn

Israel to evacuate premature surrogate babies from Nepal

After second deadly quake rocks Nepal, MDA to send delegation to retrieve four newborns from Kathmandu hospital. Father recalls: 'I took baby in my hands and ran for safety.'

As the earth violently shook Nepal on Tuesday, the Israeli fathers of four babies born to local surrogates feared for their newborns health. "I took the baby in my hands and ran outside," recalled Yoav Elani, a father to a boy and girl – twins – born on Saturday.



He called for Israeli assistance and received an answer within hours. Magen David Adom rescue personnel said a delegation will depart to Nepal on Tuesday night to bring the newborns to Israel.


Patients outside Kathmandu hospital
Patients outside Kathmandu hospital

In afternoon hours, the Nepalese authorities reported that 42 people died in the second fatal earthquake to rock the Himalayan nation, in which more than a thousand were injured.


As in the previous earthquake, dozens of patients rushed to escape the hospital when the trembles started. The Grande International Hospital in Kathmandu has also been hosting two other babies born to Israeli fathers undergoing the surrogacy process. "Suddenly the ground began to shake," Elani told Ynet on the phone.


Yoav Elani's baby in Nepal
Yoav Elani's baby in Nepal


"All the walls were moving and medical equipment was falling to the floor. A nurse grabbed my son and took him outside; the rest of the fathers immediately disconnected the babies from the devices and ran to the hotel's plaza for fear the building would collapse," he recalled.


The new father to twins said he quickly followed suit. "I took my daughter in my hands and disconnected her from the devices – some of the tubes I had to rip with my teeth."


Girl walks past ruins in Nepal (Photo: AP)
Girl walks past ruins in Nepal (Photo: AP)


Following April's deadly earthquake, the neonatal intensive care unit was relocated from the fifth floor of the hospital to the ground floor, to help the fathers escape to safety. "Fortunately, we got out relatively quick and it was a miracle because it happened during visiting hours when all the fathers were in for an update on their babies," said Elani.


"As soon as he started speaking, everything started shaking," he added.


After the quake, the Israeli ambassador to Nepal arrived at the hospital. "Our primary mission now is to assist the worried parents and their babies return safely to Israel as soon as possible. We are accompanying them closely and will continue to work with all the relevant officials to assure the families could return with haste."


Itamar Eichner contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 05.12.15, 20:58
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