Reviving One Life in a War Zone

Emaciated 10-month-old girl rescued after mother, uncle shot near Iraqi home.

ByABC News
August 13, 2007, 5:28 PM

Aug. 13, 2007 — -- One of the littlest survivors in Baghdad is 10-month-old Fatima Jbouri, who is now in the care of American medical personnel after gunmen killed her mother and uncle in their Baghdad home.

After the murders, Jbouri was dumped literally outside in the garbage on a day when the temperature hit 118 degrees.

Iraqi police found her in the rubble and handed her over to U.S. soldiers, who brought the severely underweight baby to the combat support hospital in the Green Zone. She then gained 3 pounds in less than three weeks.

"When she first got here, she looked like this little alien child," 1st Lt. Katie Van Beusekomon told ABC's Miguel Marquez. "Now she's just like this cute little baby that screams at us when we don't feed her."

She said finding this baby was a "miracle," given what is going on in Iraq.

And, among all the severely injured casualties of war, Jbouri has been a gift for those in the hospital.

"She can get fussy, but it's very pleasant to have her and not have to deal with all the blood and gore, and she's just doing well and healthy, and to see that is very, very pleasant," said 1st Lt. Hattie McDowell.

To escape the noise and chaos in the trauma ward, the nurses have set up Jbouri's crib in a quiet and cool supply closet.

Although she won't be a permanent resident in the hospital, the staff would like to find relatives to take care of her, and reunite her with her five brothers and sisters who are now in an orphanage.

But saying goodbye will not be easy for her caretakers.

"It's hard being a health care provider in an American hospital, because we take care of these kids, we send them out, and we're left wondering," said Beusekomon.