Teen Walks Into Hospital Carrying Shoebox, Nurse Can’t Believe Her Eyes When She Opens It

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A harrowing delivery story of a premature baby born in a shoebox has led to a heartwarming reunion between a nurse and a teenager mother. The story began in 2008, when 15-year-old mother, Cherish Coates, brought her premature baby boy to the SwedishAmerican hospital in Rockford, Illinois, wrapped in a dish towel and wearing a baby doll’s onesie. Neonatal nurse, Jeannie Joseph, and her team worked to treat the newborn for hypothermia, dehydration, and an infection from the household scissors used to cut his umbilical cord.

The following morning, Joseph noticed Coates walking with her head down towards the nursery doors, wanting just a look at the baby she was preparing to relinquish under the state’s Safe Haven law. Joseph, who has been a nurse for many years, felt her heart swell with sadness and compassion. “I put my hand on her shoulder and said to her, ‘I’m taking care of this cute little guy,’” Joseph remembered that day. “You know that you saved his life, right?” Joseph recalled telling Cherish Coates, a 15-year-old mother at the time. “I don’t want you to hang your head. You gave him the best chance you could.” With those words, a connection was forged. A connection that would keep Coates coming back to the nursery every day to visit her newborn son and drop off breast milk.

For weeks, Coates leaned on Joseph for support as she began the process of putting her baby up for adoption. But when she ultimately decided to keep him and tell her family about him, the bond between the two women grew even stronger.

Years passed and the two women lost touch, but the impact Joseph had on Coates stayed with her. It inspired her to become a nurse and eventually enter law school with the hopes of becoming a mental health attorney.

It wasn’t until 12 years later that Coates reached out to Joseph on Facebook, and the connection they had formed all those years ago was rekindled. Now, they regularly share encouragement, photos, and the bond that began with the “shoebox baby” case still known at the hospital.

Cherish Coates, who is now a mother of three said “I just wanted to let her know how much of an impression she made”. “It feels like such a blessing,” she said. “We will always be connected because we share this unique story.”

Photo Credit: Viral StoriesPhoto Credit: Viral Stories

This story of a nurse and a mother who were brought together by a shoebox baby, is a reminder of the power of compassion and the impact one person can have on another’s life. Nurse Joseph’s support and encouragement played a critical role in Coates decision to keep her baby and pursue her dreams, and their reunion after 12 years is a testament to the bond they formed all those years ago. It is a reminder that even in difficult and trying situations, there is always hope, and that one person can make a difference in someone’s life.

Sources: Chicago Tribune

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