Updated: September 9, 2021 10:15:59 am
Amid the Taliban takeover, hundreds of Afghan nationals have fled the country. Boarding evacuation flights, they have left behind everything they had known. Highlighting their anguish and helplessness, a Royal Air Force Sergeant has shared an anecdote on how he cradled a two-week-old baby on a UK evacuation flight out of Kabul to let her exhausted mother rest.
According to a Sky News report, Sergeant Andy Livingstone spotted a family of five on the flight, which comprised the parents and their three children. They had boarded hours after a suicide attack at Kabul airport, which left around 60 dead.
“You could see all of them were exhausted,” he said in an interview. “Then, out the corner of my eye I see something drop on the floor and as I look over, bless her, this woman is picking up her two-week-old child.”
When the mother dropped the baby again, Livingstone, a father of two young girls, pleaded with the family to let him take the baby so they could rest. “At that point, the only thing I could think of to do was plead with the family to let me take the baby for half an hour or however long they’d let me, just so she could have enough sleep to gain a little bit more energy to hold her baby,” he said.
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“You could see all of them were exhausted.”
RAF sergeant describes how he cradled a two-week-old Afghan baby on a UK evacuation flight from Kabul to let the exhausted mother rest.
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A picture of Livingstone features him carefully holding the baby, who is wearing a pair of ear defenders to protect her from the loud noise of the aircraft, the news website reported.
“You’re holding a baby that weighs nothing – absolutely nothing. It was two weeks old and you think: how exhausted must this poor woman be to not be able to carry her own child? It’s a basic instinct and she just couldn’t do it anymore… it was an awful thing to see, but a privilege to be able to help,” he is heard saying in the interview.
“For 40 minutes to an hour, I just stood there looking at a baby as I would if it were my own or one of my friends,” he said. Livingstone handed the baby back to the mother once she had rested, the website stated.
“Yeah, it was something I won’t ever forget… There was no real interaction. But just to see a baby open their eyes and a little bit of eye contact just brings being a dad right back to you.”