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An Alto couple welcomes a baby boy while evacuating a wildfire

An Alto couple welcomes a baby boy while evacuating a wildfire

RUIDOSO, NM (KRQE) – A New Mexico family fleeing wildfires outside Ruidoso faced an added challenge after the mother-to-be went into labor.

Like most of the Alto community, Joshua and Lina Sandy began noticing smoke from the fire on Monday. Then Lina Sandy, who was nine months pregnant, began to feel her contractions coming closer and closer.


“So I whispered to her and said, ‘I think this baby is going to come sooner rather than later,’” she said.

They checked into a hospital in Ruidoso, but their stay didn’t last long. “They say, ‘Yes, there is an evacuation for the hospital,’” Lina Sandy said.

As quickly as the flames spread, so did questions about what to do next.

“Are we actually getting an ambulance? Are we leaving now? Bumper to bumper traffic to Roswell and get there in maybe four hours? Joshua Sandy said.

With their daughter with her grandparents, the father-to-be drove to Roswell. “I got more stressed. I drive two hours by myself to see my wife, who could be having a baby right now, I don’t know, because there’s no cell phone reception,” he said.

Meanwhile, his wife took an ambulance to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center. “The paramedic was super nice. She had a conversation with me the whole time and made it a good experience in an ambulance, as strange as it sounds,” said Lina Sandy.

The next day, all 6 pounds and 4 ounces of baby Hayden arrived. At the time, they weren’t sure when they would get to take him home and if their house would still be standing when they did.

“Let’s just take it day by day and see what happens … We’re staying hopeful and we’ll see,” Lina Sandy said.

The couple was just thankful that their family of four was all here. “I wouldn’t change the experience; it was a good experience for sure,” said Lina Sandy.

The Sandys were due to be released from hospital on Thursday.

This isn’t the first time the couple has had a baby out of town. Their first child was born in Albuquerque after they were evacuated for the McBride fire in 2022.