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Wednesday, 2 August, 2000, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
'Miracle' baby comes to UK
Mother and baby after the ordeal
Sofia Pedro and Rosita made headlines around the world
A woman who gave birth 20ft up a tree during floods which devastated Mozambique earlier this year, has described her ordeal as "terrifying", during a visit to London.

Sofia Pedro, 24, gave birth to daughter Rosita at the height of the catastrophic floods in February which killed around 700 people and left more than a million others without homes.

Mother and baby were on a stop-off in London after a visit to America as part of a campaign by Democrats in Congress to increase US aid to the east African country.

It was God's will for her to live and for her to get through this situation

Sofia Pedro
Ms Pedro said her and Rosita's survival was a "miracle" and "God's will".

"I was terrified at the time because I thought I was going to fall into the water and drown or be carried away," she said.

"I have bad memories and they are related to the three days I spent on the tree with nothing to eat, nothing to drink and the dizziness that I felt while I was there waiting to be rescued."

Ms Pedro and Rosita were eventually plucked to safety by helicopter crews who spotted them up the tree in her home village of Chockwe, 100 miles from the country's capital Maputo.


"It's really a miracle because I wasn't the only one to go through this situation and to have lost so many of my belongings," she said.

"The difference is that I myself have gained something and the other ones have not gained anything.

"I think my baby is different from the other babies in that she was born in a tree and in that it was God's will for her to live and for her to get through this situation.

"Sometimes I do dream about drowning and I get really terrified by that."

Airlift to safety for Sofia Pedro and Rosita
Helicopter crews made a rescue after three days

Ms Pedro now plans to return to Mozambique with Rosita to join her husband Benito and two other children Selina and Benedito in Chockwe.

She is determined to give Rosita as good a start in life as possible.

"I want her to get an education and then she can decide on her future.

"I'm not sure whether she will be a nurse, a minister or a big leader, I don't know really.

"People in Mozambique are still suffering because they are still in the transit centres for temporary accommodation, they haven't gone back to their homes yet.

"Maybe I will be able to help my family, but as far as the others are concerned, I am really having difficulties in figuring out how I can help them."

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See also:

17 Jul 00 | Africa
Miracle baby flies to US
18 May 00 | Africa
Treetop girl invited to the US
28 Apr 00 | Africa
Flood baby's family start afresh
02 Mar 00 | Africa
Born above the floodwaters
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