Imagine this nightmare: Your baby is sick and in the hospital. You’re both exhausted after a day of exams, bloodwork and other testing, and you finally get your sweet little four-month-old to sleep. You shut your eyes—just for a short time—and when you open them again, your baby is gone!
That’s what happened to a Jonesboro, Ark., mother when her daughter Lorelai was admitted to NEA Baptist Hospital last week for a serious milk allergy. She wrote on Facebook that after getting her daughter to sleep, she laid down to try to get some rest. A little over an hour later, she awoke and realized, to her horror, Lorelai was gone. The terrified mother searched for her daughter, and thankfully, eventually found her. But what she discovered was disturbing. Snyder wrote:
When I found her she was in another woman’s hospital room, in that woman’s arms, with a room full of six or seven nurses just laughing and playing with her and Lorelai. I didn’t know this lady. She was not a nurse or a doctor. Just another hospital patient.
I proceed to take Lorelai out of her arms. Even though she persisted that I return to my room, without Lorelai, she stated repeatedly that I needed to just go rest. I told her, no that I was fine and I would be taking my daughter back now.
I removed Lorelai from her arms, and the nurses who had been standing around gathered up her things, because along with taking Lorelai she also took my diaper bag( which had been emptied around her room), iv pole, and crib Lorelai was in sleeping in.
But then the story got worse. Snyder said the patient, whom she had discovered with her baby, followed her back to her room and refused to leave! Nurses eventually had to “remove” the woman from the room, Snyder said. “After what felt like an eternity, the nurses returned to transfer us to ICU, so we were in a secure unit, that had security.”
Snyder is concerned about what went on during the time the patient had her baby.”I don’t know what she herself was ill with, something that could make my daughter sick. I don’t know anything! I don’t know what her actual intent with my child was. What she did with her. Or even how long she actually had her.”
There are some truly terrifying possibilities to consider.
Snyder contacted the Jonesboro Police Department but was told that no crime had been committed because the woman “didn’t ‘intend’ to rape or molest” her daughter. Apparently taking a child without the parents’ knowledge or permission is legal as long as you mean well in Jonesboro! Sleep well, parents!
How on earth was something like this permitted in a hospital? Last time I visited a child in a hospital, security was like something you’d see in minimum security prison (ok, exaggerating, but only a little), with bracelets that need to be scanned for every procedure, medication, and bowel movement, and nobody allowed to take a baby anywhere without the requisite ID. I truly, truly never imaged that a hospital would allow a random patient to nab a child (literally) out of her hospital room for entertainment purposes. And don’t even get me started on the eleventy-million HIPAA forms the hospital makes you sign—you know, those forms where the hospital vows to keep all your medical information private? How’s that working out for the Snyder family?
You can read all of Lorie Beth Snyder’s Facebook post, along with pictures of the alleged suspect, on the next page.