Sleep saves 'Miracle' toddler as she sleeps through a massacre that killed everyone except her.
Trigger warning: This story contains descriptions of graphic violence that some readers may find distressing
A three-year-old girl managed to survive a massacre at her daycare center in Uthai Sawan, Northeast Thailand. Last week, while everyone in the nursery was a victim of the horrific crime, in the corner of the classroom Paveenut Supolwong was fast asleep. She was completely covered under a blanket and that appears to have saved her life. She is usually known to be a light sleeper, but during nap time at the daycare when the killer barged in with the intent of murdering 22 innocent children, Supolwong was fast asleep. A blanket was covering her face which is most probably what saved her life, her parents shared with Reuters. The classroom of children was busy drawing and writing. Around 10:00 local time, teachers sent photo updates to all the parents of smiling, happy children.
After two hours, the former police officer Panya Khamrap killed more than 30 people, mostly children in the nursery, causing a rampage through the town of Uthai Sawan but she was the only child who survived the massacre. Witnesses said he first shot staff, including a teacher who was eight months pregnant, and then went into three classrooms. In addition to slaughtering almost everyone at the nursery, Panya drove his pickup truck into passersby on the street and shot at neighbors in a two-hour rampage. Finally, he killed the woman he lived with, her son, and himself. Her mother, Panompai Sithong, 35, expressed that she was in shock. She said, "I feel for other families... I'm glad that my kid survived. It's a mixed feeling of sadness and gratitude."
'Miracle' toddler survived Thailand nursery massacre asleep under blanket https://t.co/LltM1cLECi pic.twitter.com/n3zVUiMoH2— Reuters (@Reuters) October 9, 2022
Twenty-two children were stabbed to death, out of which 11 died in the classroom where she was napping, according to police. Two other children were in the hospital with serious head wounds. Someone had found the toddler in a corner after the killer left and carried her out while covering her head with a blanket so she doesn't witness her classmate's bodies while she thought they were still asleep. "I feel very grateful that she survived. I held her so tight when I first saw her," shared her grandfather, Somsak Srithong. During the tragedy, her mother had been told that all of the children at the center had died, and needed to be convinced her daughter was still alive." I finally got a video call with Emmy and was filled with blessed relief," she says. Her parents claim that she has no memory of the incident and she doesn't yet fully gather the extent of the tragedy she has lived through. Her family had to break the news about her best friend and teacher dying, to her when she kept asking her grandmother, "Why don't you pick up Techin from school?"
"She just wants to go to school every day. We have to keep telling her the school is closed down. She is too young to understand the concept of death," her parents share. The motive of the attacker is still unknown but police said Kamrap was fired from his job in June for drug use. "Parents are asking: 'Where is a safe place for their children?' I'm so sad and I beg that any authority would strengthen our safety," pleaded her uncle Veerachai Srithong, reports BBC.
It was a pure moment of joy in a town cursed with unforeseen grief. The girl's family's home was welcomed with family and well-wishers sharing plates of fish, papaya salad, and reflections on the tragedy while the child was seen playing in the yard with an amulet around her neck, sharing a gap-tooth smile and staring with wide eyes of indifference. The family conducted a good number of Buddhist ceremonies for those children who weren't so lucky. The nursery was filled with flowers and presents. The girl's mother believed that spirits had protected her child. She said, "My kid is not a deep sleeper. I believe there must be some spirits covering her eyes and ears. We have different beliefs, but to me, I think it protected my kid."
Cover Image Source: YouTube | WION