A seven-month-old baby miraculously survived after being thrown off a 118ft bridge by her mother in north-east Brazil.
Carla Regina Mendes, 23, threw baby Thayller over the railings on José Sarney Bridge, in Sao Luis, north east Brazil, on Sunday afternoon in front of shocked passersby. The child landed into the swampy river below the bridge and was already sinking when two quick-thinking off-duty police officers plunged into the mud and rescued her.
Officers Danilo Pestana and Herberth Ribeiro were returning together from football training around 2pm on a motorbike when they noticed a commotion and their timely intervention saved the child.
Officer Pestana told local media: “It was difficult to locate the baby, we could only see her head sticking out of the sludge. We could see she was being suffocated and that mud was in her mouth.
“The mud hampered our movements. It slowed us down and it was hard to get through. But as we got closer to the child, she saw us and started to cry and tried to get herself out. Her desperate cries were heartbreaking and we pushed hard to reach her before she sunk beneath the mud. When we got to her and pulled her out she cried loudly in our arms and that was the best sound we could hear as it made us so happy that she was alive.
“Thank God, we managed to get there in time because she would have certainly choked to death.”
The child was handed over to a uniformed officer who carried her along the riverbank and up the steps to a waiting ambulance as anxious eyewitnesses looked on. A paramedic quickly checked over the bewildered toddler and cleared her airways before transporting her to hospital. She suffered a blow to her head and bruising to her back after landing in the stagnant stretch on the Sao Francisco river. She is now recovering in Djalma Marques hospital.
The child’s mother was arrested at the scene. She later told police to be suffering from mental health problems and depression. According to the young mother’s family, the woman was hospitalised three times in Sao Francisco mental health unit in 2017 for psychiatric disorders. During her stay, relatives allege the woman was raped and the child is the product of the sexual abuse.