NOVEMBER 20, 2018 The mother of three, 35, was resting in Feather River Hospital in Paradise, California, after the birth […]
NOVEMBER 20, 2018
The mother of three, 35, was resting in Feather River Hospital in Paradise, California, after the birth of a healthy baby boy via C-section when panic arose.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that around 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 8, a nurse rushed into Sanders’ room and told her that she and her newborn, whom Sanders named Lincoln, had to leave — one of the deadly California wildfires was bearing down on the hospital and everyone had to evacuate.
She was placed in a wheelchair and rushed to a car driven by a hospital employee named David. They attempted to flee, but the flames were flanking and sometimes in the middle of the road, and her surgery left her unable to run or even walk if the fire overtook the car.
She and David were strangers, yes, but she still made a dramatic request, should they be trapped by the flames.
“I said I want you to take the baby and run,” Sanders said.
She, David and baby Lincoln ended up driving the 20 miles to safety in about nine hours on the road.
“I thought I wasn’t going to make it, for sure. I wasn’t sure any of us were going to make it. It was very, very terrifying.”
The flames got closer and Sanders, who was unable to wear a seatbelt due to her surgery and had her intravenous line still in and dangling from the rearview mirror, focused on her newborn’s survival. So, she made a pact with David.
“If it comes down to it, if you have to run, take the baby,” Sanders, in comments to the Chronicle, said she told David. “Leave me behind.”
During their drive, they were forced to change route and turn around several times. At one point they even passed Sanders’ home, which was completely destroyed. All that was left was its chimney.
After hours of turnarounds, gridlock and prayers, they eventually made it to another hospital in a different city. Sanders learned that David and his wife were safe — but she never did learn much else about his family.
“Never have I had a Thanksgiving come where I have had so little and felt more thankful and blessed,” she said.