WILMINGTON, N.C. — A North Carolina woman walking her dog on Thursday evening heard the sound of a baby crying while passing by a local church, and upon investigation, found a newborn male — umbilical cord and all — inside of a trash can.
“Thank God that she was walking her dog when she was. Thank God she heard him cry and was able to bring him up here, because she’s definitely the hero that saved his life,” local resident Tamara Austin told WWAY-TV.
Austin heard the woman calling for help at approximately 5 p.m. and came outside to see what was happening. The woman shouted out that there was a baby in a trash bag.
While the woman was on the phone with 911, Austin followed instructions by helping to take the umbilical cord off the child’s neck. Another neighbor came out with a towel to wrap around the newborn.
“I just picked the baby up and held him and just talked to him,” she said. “He was breathing. I cleared out his airways. He was breathing fine. He actually cried, and at one point, even grabbed my finger.”
While the women waited for paramedics to arrive, they sang to the child and told him that God has a plan for his life.
“I was praying,” Austin told WECT-TV. “And she started singing ‘Jesus Loves Me’, and I just chimed in with her and [was singing] it with her. I told him, ‘Someone here wants you and God has a purpose for you, so hang in there.’”
She said that the infant latched on to her pinky finger as she spoke to him.
The baby was transported to the hospital and is stated to be doing well.
Police are now trying to locate his mother. Those with information may call the Wilmington Police Department at 910-343-3609.
Watch Austin share her story here. The identity of the woman who discovered the child has not been made public.
North Carolina has a “Safe Surrender Law” or “Infant Homicide Protection Act”, passed in 2001, that allows mothers to surrender their baby to a police officer, health care provider or social worker within seven days of the child’s birth without penalty. The mother is not required to provide any self-identifying information.
The organization A Child’s Hope also advises mothers that adoption is an option, even before the baby is born.
“While N.C. safe haven laws require that your baby be less than seven days old when you relinquish him or her, it is never too late to choose adoption for your baby, whether it’s during your pregnancy, right after you’ve given birth or months after your baby has been born,” it explains on its website.
Psalm 27:10 says, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.”