February 7, 2020

Abandoned newborn saved thanks to Seymour Safe Haven Baby Box

By John Shaughnessy

When Dave Eggers first heard the news that the life of an abandoned baby had been saved in Seymour, two emotions immediately overwhelmed him.

Eggers’ first reaction was one of complete joy that the baby had been found and rescued about an hour after the child had been born.

His next most-immediate reaction focused on the mother of the child.

“What breaks your heart is what that mother went through,” said Eggers, a member of St. Ambrose Parish in Seymour and the treasurer of the Knights of Columbus Council 1252 there. “Thank God she made the right decision.”

On Jan. 23, the baby’s mother placed her infant girl inside a Safe Haven Baby Box that had been installed at Seymour Fire Station 3 on June 14, 2019. An alarm immediately notified firefighters, the baby was retrieved from the box within 60 seconds, and she was transported to a nearby hospital.

“It worked exactly according to plan,” said Eggers. “That’s what the box was built for—to save a baby’s life.”

Seymour’s Knights of Columbus had a role in that effort, paying for installation of the baby box at the fire station and providing for a yearly maintenance fee to operate the box. Yet Eggers focused his praise on two individuals.

He quickly mentioned 19-year-old Hunter Wart, who raised $10,000 to purchase the box—money Wart collected from mowing lawns and collecting scrap metal.

“You can’t say enough about how his hard work has paid off,” Eggers said. “He doesn’t come from a wealthy family. He raised every penny of the $10,000.”

Eggers’ thoughts also returned to the birth mother.

“You pray for her and hope the best for her as well,” he said. “Because we had the box, she may have planned what she did before she gave birth. She gave her baby up so her baby could have a better life.

“I was told by current Mayor Matt Nicholson that he understood that the baby was within 30 days of having a permanent home and the adoption being finalized.

“To save a baby’s life is absolutely incredible. It’s exactly what we all hoped for.” †

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