Pregnant Heroine Saves Lives

Pregnant Heroine Saves Lives

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Lyza Inglit is seven months pregnant and she looks forward to the day when she can share with her baby the amazing story of their survival against the rage of super typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. 

The 20-year-old wife is a resident of Anglit in Basey, Samar, one of the worst hit areas devastated by Haiyan. Then five months pregnant, Lyza was staying in their single-story home with her 2-year-old child and 74-year-old grandmother when the waters from the storm surge came rushing into their home, aggravated further by the ferocity of the strong winds. 

Fearing for their safety, Lyza made the quick decision to get all of them out of the house and seek cover by climbing a coconut tree. 

Despite her sensitive state, she climbed as high as she could, while holding onto both her child and grandmother to keep them away from the cascading water. The water later reached the roof of their house. 

Lyza can no longer remember where she got the strength to do what she did, only that she knew she wanted to live for the sake of the baby in her womb and to save the lives of her child and grandmother. 

Her decisiveness and courage saved four lives, including that of her unborn baby. 

Lyza's woes did not end with surviving their life-threatening situation because as soon as the typhoon weakened, she discovered the immensity of her losses. Their house was badly damaged and her husband's boat and fishing net were totally destroyed. 

The money her husband earns from fishing is their only source of income. For the last two months since Haiyan's destruction, Lyza and her family have been making do with relief goods and food assistance from the government and various donors.  

Immediately after the disaster, CARE responded to the emergency situation by distributing food packs to affected areas in Leyte, Samar and Panay. To date, we have given food assistance to more than 88,000 Haiyan survivors. 

At a food distribution run by CARE and local partner OCCCI, Lyza eagerly receives her food package consisting of 25 kilos of rice, ten canned goods, a kilo of dried fish, a kilo of mongo beans, cooking oil, sugar and salt. 

Lyza says she is very grateful for the help from CARE as the food pack can help support their food needs for two to three weeks. Given her family’s challenging conditions as her husband has yet to resume fishing or find an alternative income, such assistance is truly essential. 

Lyza remains hopeful that as soon as her husband can earn again, they will get back on their feet quickly, especially with the arrival of her new bundle of joy two months from now.

Written by Winnie Aguilar, communications officer, CARE Philippines 

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Lyza Inglit takes part in a food distribution in Basey, Samar. When typhoon Haiyan hit, then five months pregnant Lyza managed to save both her child and grandmother by climbing a coconut tree and holding onto them. (Photo by Winnie Aguilar/CARE)