BY LUCY CAULKETT
News that two babies were switched at birth is most shocking and disturbing following DNA tests. A British couple were reunited with their baby son after it emerged that they had been switched at birth.
Richard Cushworth and his wife, Mercedes Casanellas suspected their child may have been exchanged and sold to human traffickers in El Salvador. Following public appeals by the concerned couple, the doctor in question was arrested but pleaded his innocence.
Mr Cushworth said: “God has given us this child and somehow, somebody has taken him from us, and we want him back.
“It’s a horrible situation for me, for her (his wife), for my family, her family.
“A child is an experience you have for a lifetime. They give you grandchildren. I mean, this is a life-long injury that’s very, very deep and it’s horrible.”
The appalled couple first became alarmed when they noticed dissimilarities between the features of the new born baby they had been given after birth was different from the one subsequently given to them. In particular, the complexion of the second child was noticeably darker.
Strangely, the couple proceeded to go their home in Dallas Texas with the baby believing they must have made a mistake themselves. However, their fears grew even worse when family members separately expressed strong doubts that this was indeed their child.
She took the child to the couple’s home in Dallas, Texas, but the pair, both missionaries working in El Salvador, returned to the Central American country after family members also expressed doubts.
The couple’s lawyer, Francisco Meneses, said: “We don’t have anything against the people who were involved during the (baby’s) birth, but we want all these people to put their hands on their hearts because from the doctor who performed the surgery, the paediatrician, anaesthesiologist, and the two nurses who were in the delivery room, it’s very important for them to tell us what happened. Also, the people who received the child in nursery.”
It is absolutely disgraceful that such shambles can occur in the medical profession and begs the question of the extent to which parents are safe trusting hospitals to always deliver the right baby to their parents. Such blunders are practically unheard of in Britain, though one can’t help wondering if any parents may have sometimes gone home with the wrong baby. Let’s remember this happened in EL Savador, not Britain.
The society of gynaecology and obstetrics in the country has defended the doctor, claiming he could not have been involved in any exchange as he would have handed the child over to a paediatrician or a nurse as soon as it was born. This means the head of one of their Paediatrician should be rolling off!
The Gynecological Hospital Centre, where Ms Casanellas gave birth, said it would carry out an internal investigation and “rectify” the situation. We await the outcome of that investigation.