The grandmother of a four-month-old baby who was abandoned by his mother in bushes in Papine, St Andrew, is imploring on authorities to take action before something more tragic happens to the child.
Sixty-five-year old Dorothy South, a domestic worker, mentioned that her 26-year old daughter, Dana Porter, has Down Syndrome and is not in a psychological or financial condition to take care of her children.
“When she fling weh the little pickney, she have a right fi do it. Me neva want she do it, but she under disadvantage …,” South said. Porter is the mother of four children. South told the news team that this is not the first time that her daughter has tried to abandon one of her children in the same location, as she did it three years ago.
That child is now a ward of the state, and South hopes the State will take this baby in its care soon.
She theorised that frustration may be the main reason the mother abandoned the baby.
Last Saturday afternoon, security officer Steven Byfield, who is stationed at The University of Technology’s (UTech) Mais Home, was alerted to feeble cries coming from nearby bushes, and went to investigate. Samantha Blake, who also heard the child’s cries, accompanied him.
“We went up there and we see the baby in a wrapping blanket. It seem like him have been there from about 1 or 2 p.m. I found him about quarter to four,” Byfield said.
He said the child, who was lying close to a jagged edged stone, appeared to be extremely hungry, and was crying inconsolably. “Me a wonder why him a cry so much, so me pull a box drink and give him, and me a tell you say him drink it off quick!” Byfield recalled.
He also told our news team that the child had sustained minor bruises on one leg as he was crying and kicking his leg against the rough stone nearby.
Byfield stated he was pleased with his good deed because if he had not rescued the baby, he could have been a Saturday evening feast for dogs and mongooses that frequent the area. The child was taken by the police and is being treated at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.
South, who said she is a mother of nine children and more than 40 grandchildren, wishes she were in a financial position to care for her grandson who was abandoned, but she is unemployed.
“If I was working, I would take care of the baby, but me not working now and me not even live nowhere, see me house burn down deh. Any little help me can get me would appreciate it,” South said.
The Centre for Investigation of S3xual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) was informed of the matter, and an officer promised an intervention shortly.