Baby in bag doing well, hospital says

(Barbados Nation) – A newborn baby found abandoned in a plastic bag on Fitts Village Beach, St James, on Saturday is doing well at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

A QEH media release said the baby had been transferred from the Accident & Emergency Department and was recovering in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Consultant Dr Alok Khumar confirmed that the baby had received routine tests related to respiration, blood pressure, blood sugar level and temperature and they were “satisfactory”.

Khumar added that initial tests for infection, which was “a typical concern” given the baby had been left in the outdoors, came back normal. He said the active, 2.99 kilogramme baby girl was in an incubator and had a “little vomiting” yesterday morning but it was not a major concern.

Khumar reasoned that the baby’s mother would be in a vulnerable emotional state, given that the first few days after birth were critical for mother-baby bonding and breastfeeding. The release indicated that contact had already been made with social services and more in-depth discussions would be held.

The baby was found inside a tied plastic bag, with the umbilical cord still attached.

The newborn was being called a “miracle baby” by Jerome Jarreau, the man who found her hidden under a cluster of grape trees on the beach. Jarreau said he was walking along the beach around 4:30 pm when he heard a faint cry from under the bushes.

“I tell myself somebody must be in there with a baby or it must be a monkey or something. I heard the crying again, so I went and look under the bush and I see something wriggling in a plastic bag. I burst open the bag and the baby look at me and let out a gasp and started to cry louder. I felt so relieved but scared,” he said.

So shocking was the discovery that Jarreau ran up the beach where three people were standing and frantically told them about his find, but nobody moved.

“I told them to come that a baby in the bushes but I know I am Rastaman and they would think that I coming to rob them or something, so I told them that I telling the truth, to call the ambulance and the police. They were staring at me as if I was mad or making sport,” he said.

Eventually the people did go over and see the baby. Jarreau said the umbilical cord was still attached as well as the afterbirth, and the blood in the bag was fresh.

But when somebody suggested cutting the cord, his protective parental instincts kicked in and he told them not to touch the baby.

The 28-year-old man said he instinctively ran over to the Jordan’s Supermarket complex at the doctor’s office there but it was closed. So he ran back to the baby and stood over her until the police and ambulance personnel arrived.

“This thing hurt me because I have two children and one is three months old. I know God was watching over this child,” he said.

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