Jeannie Joseph is a neonatal nurse at SwedishAmerican. In 2004, she had already been in her profession for a decade, and she still works at the hospital today.
After hiking nearly 8 miles through city streets, a young boy carrying a shoebox entered the hospital. In a hooded sweatshirt and appearing terrified, he walked towards the nursery.
Joseph spotted the boy and noticed how young he was. When the medical staff saw what was inside of the shoe box, wrapped in a dish towel and clothed in a onesie from a doll, they immediately took the 6-week-premature infant into isolation.
Joseph told the boy it would be helpful if he could provide information on the circumstances of the birth, as well as anything relating to the birth mother, also making sure he knew he did not have to give names. “We were sad, of course, but we had to work very fast with this baby,” she said.
The baby was in critical condition with a body temperature of only 94.7, and Dr. Martin Anyebuno, who treated the baby the day he arrived, said he was surprised to find the infant breathing on his own. The doctor treated the infant for hypothermia, dehydration, and because the mother had used a pair of house scissors to cut the umbilical cord, an infection.
The Safe Haven law was enacted in 2001. The law allows for newborn babies, provided they are unharmed, to be abandoned at any location allowed by law.