Hope is born: Trapped Chilean miner’s wife has baby whose name is inspired by his survival

By Aliosha Marquez, AP
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nurse: Trapped Chilean miner’s Hope born healthy

COPIAPO, Chile — Hope was born Tuesday outside the mine in Chile where 33 men have been trapped for 40 days.

The first baby of trapped miner Ariel Ticona and his wife, Elizabeth Segovia, was born by cesarean section in a hospital in Copiapo, where many of the trapped miners’ families live. A maternity ward nurse said she entered the world at 12:20 p.m. weighing nearly 7 pounds (3 kilograms) and measuring almost 19 inches (48 centimeters) long.

It was a rare bit of good news for a nation anxiously following efforts to pull the miners out alive.

Ticona and his wife had planned to name the child Carolina but each decided independently to change the name to Esperanza — Spanish for Hope — when the miners were found alive 17 days after the main shaft of the San Jose copper and gold mine collapsed on Aug. 5.

Many of the miners’ families have held vigil at the mine since then, sleeping in tents in the cold Atacama desert nights. But Ticona didn’t want that for his wife. In a recorded video chat, one of many that miners have had now thanks to a fiber-optic cable that rescuers dropped through a narrow bore hole, Ticona urged a relative to tell his wife to stay home and take it easy before the birth.

“Tell her to change the name of our daughter … and give her a long-distance kiss!” Ticona said as the other miners shouted, “We’re going to name her Hope!”

Segovia told Chile’s Canal 13 network that she had exactly the same thought about her name. “He thought of it there and I thought of it here in the house: She was going to be named Carolina Elizabeth, but now her name will be Esperanza Elizabeth.”

“I’m very nervous,” Segovia said Tuesday as she entered the clinic, passing a crowd of photographers and well-wishers. Ticona had promised her he would attend the birth. He urged a relative to videotape it, and the nurse confirmed that a sister-in-law took pictures.

(This version CORRECTS last name of miner)

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