Jackson Memorial Hospital
Ana Johana Irias and her husband, Julio, hold their newborn baby, Kimberly.
Updated 10:14 a.m. ET:
A Good Samaritan called the Irias family on Thursday to wish them well and asked if he could donate a television after robbers had burglarized their home of Christmas gifts. Ana Irias was tired and sleep deprived, but she said all was well: Her newborn and her family were safe and together.
A Miami mother is hoping to find solace in her newborn’s cries and coos after all she went through earlier this week: Giving chase to a robber, giving birth prematurely and then being victimized again when thieves stole the family's Christmas gifts.
“I never thought all this could happen to one person,” Ana Johana Irias said Wednesday. “As bad it was, I have to stay strong and focus on what is important in life: My family.”
The woman’s ordeal began New Year’s Eve when she and her 4-year-old daughter, Angelina, were in line at an ATM in Miami. While the two inched their way closer to the automated machine, a teen on a bike reached out and ripped off the necklace around the 26-year-old mother’s neck, Miami police said.
Eight months pregnant and furious, Irias ran to her 1996 Toyota Camry with her daughter in tow and gave chase, following the young thug for a block down the street.
“It was dumb, but I wasn’t thinking at the time, and I told my daughter, ‘Mommy has something to do and it’s going to be OK,’” Irias said.
Irias said she lost sight of the thief after he ran off and jumped over a fence, running through nearby houses. He had taken a precious gift given to her from her mother: a gold chain with a turtle charm and a medallion with Our Lady of Guadalupe.
She called police and while she was filing a report, labor pains kicked in.
Officers at the scene knew she needed to get to the hospital fast.
“They were worried about me and wanted me to calm down because I was agitated,” she said.
Irias was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where Kimberly Amparo Suarez arrived hours later and three weeks early – at 12:15 a.m. Jan. 1. The 6-ound, 6-ounce baby girl was one of the first Miami babies born of 2012.
Jackson Memorial Hospital
Kimberly Amparo Suarez was one of the first Miami babies born of 2012.
While the parents tried to celebrate the health of their third child, they knew her cleft palate would require extensive surgery to correct.
"Besides that, they said the baby was healthy,” she said. “I thought what else can happen?”
She had no idea.
While the family was in the hospital, burglars broke through a window and ransacked the one-bedroom apartment where she and her husband, Julio Cesar Suarez, have lived for six years. Her husband discovered their loss when he returned home to fetch clean clothes for his wife.
Iria said the family didn’t have much. She and her husband, who works at an Italian ice cream store, had toiled hard for what they owned. They paid in cash and didn’t have debt. She said she used half of their $500 tax return to help pay for Christmas gifts and paid bills with the rest.
The burglars had taken a 52-inch plasma TV, a computer and Irias’ purse, which she said contained $600 – the family’s rent money.
Perhaps most cruelly, the burglars stole several gifts that had been given to the couple’s children, including 1-year-old Alex.
“Now all that is gone, taken away from us,” she said.
"They took all our gifts from Christmas,” she said. “All this time I was trying to save my money, making sure we were doing the right thing and we still got robbed.”
She fought back tears as she spoke about having to gather new items for her baby, who was brought home to an empty apartment Wednesday evening.
“I’m trying to stay positive, and that is all I can do. I have to stay strong for my daughter, because she is what is important right now.”
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