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CNN Today

Mother of Canadian "Miracle Baby" Speaks Out

Aired February 28, 2001 - 1:19 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: And we continue to follow the amazing story of that little Canadian girl who's being called a miracle baby. This 13-month-old has now been moved out of intensive care. And she is in a regular hospital room.

In case you haven't heard, this little girl survived several hours in the bitter cold after wandering outside the house where she was staying with her mother. She only had a diaper on. Her mother has now spoken about what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEYLA NORDBY, MOTHER: I went out with -- I went for a little while and made -- set out everything -- I was supposed to be home -- I was home by 10:00, right? And the kids, we all went to bed. And a friend of mine, her brother was watching the kids.

He took off to go hang out with his friends. And on the way out the back door -- you've got to really shut it hard, like, you got to use your shoulder, deadbolt it. And -- but nobody deadbolted it. And the screen flew back. And the pressure from the air from outside pushed it back open. She was -- she wasn't around me when I woke up. And I looked everywhere. And she was gone. And I ran through the house screaming for her. And she wasn't around. And then I looked -- just looked behind me and the door was open. But the screen door itself was just sitting there.

And I walked to the door. And I looked off to the left. And I just saw something laying in the snow. I ran to the snow. And I saw Erika on her belly. I picked her up. She was frozen. I ran in the house. I wrapped her in a blanket. She was wearing a pink shirt that matched her jeans. That's what she was wearing. The paramedics cut her shirt because they needed to get to her really fast. She was stiff in my arms.

Yes.

QUESTION: You just threw your arms around her?

NORDBY: I threw my arms. I ran inside the house and wrapped her in a big pink blanket. And I just (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and screamed.

QUESTION: You couldn't feel a pulse? So who called 911? NORDBY: A friend's house that I was staying at. She got on her cell phone and dialed 911 right away. They were there in minutes. They were great. They were awesome.

QUESTION: So what did you -- get back and just all this is happening all at once?

NORDBY: They took her from me. And they took her onto the table. And they were just working so fast on her. And all of a sudden, one of them said, "We got a pulse."

I should have been there for her, you know? No child should ever suffer like that, you know? How's a mother supposed to feel?

QUESTION: What do you hope for her?

NORDBY: Just to be happy. That's it. She can do whatever she wants in life. And she is so special. I just want her to be happy -- happy and safe. That's all I want.

QUESTION: Hopefully she doesn't lose any of her fingers and toes.

NORDBY: You know, that's all right as long as I have her.

QUESTION: Is there anything you want to say to people who have sent all these beautiful gifts to you?

NORDBY: I just really want to say thank you. And when she can start cruising around, she's going to play with them lots. Thanks for the clothes for her, for everything, just for everything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: What a story -- and certainly a beautiful little baby. Again, the baby is out of intensive care, but will have to stay in the hospital for several weeks. And the focus will be on rehabilitation.

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