Members of the Dutch Reformed Church in Lewisham, on the West Rand, discovered a newborn baby behind the back wheel of their minister’s car on Sunday, January 29, at about 8am, Krugersdorp News reports.
Moments before entering the church, a girl noticed the baby after her parents parked their car in the parking lot, and she saw something behind the car’s wheel.
As she approached she realised it was a baby and immediately called for help. The baby was naked and still had her umbilical cord attached to her belly.
It was obvious that the baby was only a few hours old, and even though she was cleaned properly after birth, her umbilical cord did not have a clip on.
Some of the other members of the church contacted members of Sector 9’s Community Police Forum (CPF), who in turn contacted emergency services to examine the newborn baby girl. They also contacted the Krugersdorp police to assess the situation. Paramedics assessed the baby and found that she was unharmed. The CPF then helped to clip her umbilical cord and made sure she was properly cleaned.
The baby was healthy, but was taken to Dr Yusuf Dadoo Hospital for observation.
Attie Els, chairperson of the CPF, said although the baby was healthy, the girl who discovered her was somewhat traumatised by the experience.
“We were all a little rattled by the idea of someone just leaving their baby,” Els said. “It is a different matter when a grownup is abandoned. When a baby is abandoned, it cannot speak for itself, nor can it defend itself.”
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The baby will spend two days in hospital for observation and will be released into the care of a local orphanage after it is deemed healthy and stable. When booking the child in at the hospital, the girl who discovered the newborn asked that she be named Grace.
“She was so calm and didn’t cry once,” Attie said. “We understand that these are difficult times that we live in and there isn’t work for everyone,” Attie said, “and circumstances don’t always allow a person to be able to look after a child.”
CPF sector 9 collected clothes and baby products for the newborn and asked the public if they had any donations for the child to contact Pierre Pretorius, their spokesperson on 083 577 7305.
“The person who put the child in the churchyard probably knew someone would find her and help her.”
Some of the places that take in abandoned babies are:
• The Bethany House Trust: A public benefit organisation that assists with foster care as well as offering assistance to mothers with unplanned pregnancies to make good choices. Tel: 011 660 2763.
• The Baby Moses Sanctuary: A sanctuary and place of safety for abused, abandoned and neglected babies, toddlers and teens. HIV positive and disabled children are welcome. Tel: 011 768 7600.
• The Salvation Army (Krugersdorp): An organisation focusing on education, poverty relief, and other charitable objectives beneficial to society or the community as a whole: Tel: 011 953 1739.
The Krugersdorp Police Station and a Community Policing Forum branch (CPF) are other good options as qualified staff will be on hand to offer advice and assistance. Contact them on 011 951 1111.
– Caxton News Service