On the side of a road outside the central-Philippine city of Tacloban, next to a paddy field, 18-year-old Ryan Bacate is in a panic. Analyn Pesado, Bacate’s pregnant girlfriend who is also 18 years old, is on the ground and preparing to give birth three miles from the closest clinic in the municipality of Tolosa.
Bacate and Pesado were on his motorbike en route to the clinic after she had gone into labor. A man who was also on a motorcycle passed by and hurried to Tolosa to retrieve Norina Malate. She found the baby crowning when she got there. Malate urged Pesado to advance.
Malate cleaned her scissors with aɩcohoɩ after the baby was born, then she cut the umbilical cord. Pesado and her baby, a male, were assisted in being loaded onto a pickup vehicle that would transport them to the Tolosa clinic.
The extraordinary delivery was documented by photographer Lynsey Addario while she was working on assignment for Save the Children, which is assisting in the reconstruction of the healthcare system in Haiyan-affected areas.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Addario. “It was such a community effort. When you see a baby born like that, and it is fine, you’ve got to think: It’s kind of miraculous.”