MOSCOW, November 24 (Sputnik) – A one week old baby boy who was abandoned by his mother and left to die in a drain has been rescued in Australia. The baby is now in a serious condition at Westmead Children's Hospital a day after cyclists found him in a 2.5-meter deep drain beside the M7 Motorway in the suburb of Quakers Hill, reports AP.
David Otte, who was riding his bicycle with his daughter on Sunday, said: “We actually thought it was a kitten or something like that. It was only when we went down there and had a real good look at it that we knew what it was,” reported The Independent.
Police suspect the baby was squeezed through the drain's narrow opening and dropped to the bottom. The baby was found wrapped in a hospital blanket, and police used hospital records to locate the mother, stated AP.
It took six men, including three police officers, to lift the 200-kilogram concrete lid that covered the drain, to take out the baby who had stayed there for five days.
He was found suffering from severe malnourishment and dehydration and is in a serious condition in hospital.
Andrew Pesce, from the Australian Medical Association, said such a suffering could leave a newborn baby with long-term problems including brain damage. “There would still have to be some concerns about the baby,” he said.
The mother of the newborn boy, Saifale Nai, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and is being held in custody until a court hearing on Friday, reports The Independent.
The baby will likely be taken into state care when he is discharged from the hospital, officials said.
An MP in the opposition Labor Party, Helen Polley, said the near-tragedy could have been avoided if emergency hatches were rolled out at Australian hospitals, police and fire stations where babies could be safely abandoned.
She called for dissolution of laws that make child abandonment a criminal offense, which she said pushes the parent to get rid of child in secret.