“It is a rebirth; I am very happy and thank God for it,” exclaimed P. Edvi Jammal (65) the moment she spotted her daughter, among the 46 Indian nurses who reached the Cochin International Airport on Saturday after being evacuated from war-torn Tikrit in Iraq.

The anxious mother, who came all the way from her home in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, broke into tears as she hugged and kissed her daughter P. Lesima Jerose Monisha (25), who had joined the Tikrit Teaching Hospital on February 17, 2014.

Ms. Monisha sought to put up a brave face but failed, allowing her mother to hold her tight for a few moments. “I am happy to have come back to life. My family members are so relieved,” she said. For Ms. Jammal, life has been tough bringing up her two children after her husband’s death two decades ago. The family’s financial travails continue, but she does not want her daughter to go back to Iraq.

(With additional reporting by Praveen Paul Joseph)