There can be nothing more terrifying for a new mother than to wake up in the hospital and find her newborn baby missing, only to then find her in the the arms of another patient. This is exactly what happened to Lory Beth Snyder following the birth of her daughter, Lorelai.
Lory Beth had chosen to take a nap after getting baby Lorelai to sleep. Though she didn’t sleep for long, it was apparently enough for someone to enter her room and remove the baby. A frantic Lory Beth awoke to find Lorelai gone and discovered that she was in another woman’s hospital room. Even worse, a group of nurses was gathered around watching as the unknown patient played with Lorelai and they appeared to be doing nothing to intervene. Snyder posted her version of the events on Facebook.
“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.”
Lory Beth immediately retrieved her daughter but was implored by the unknown patient to “go rest” and leave baby Lorelai in her care. Snyder refused. She also stated that the room of the patient was in disarray. The woman had also taken Lorelai’s diaper bag and strewed the contents around the room, as well as the baby’s IV pole and crib.
Nurses at the hospital followed Lory Beth back to her own room and attempted to explain to Snyder that the woman was harmless, but within moments the woman was back again and once more requesting that she be allowed to care for the baby as Lory Beth rested. Her pleas were becoming more persistent and ultimately the nurses were forced to remove her from Lory Beth and Lorelai’s room. As a precaution, mother and child were later moved to a different room in the hospital away from the other woman.
The CEO of the hospital was quick to issue a statement regarding the incident. Brad Parsons told a local television station that “inpatient safety is our utmost responsibility” and that local authorities as well as internal risk management personnel would be involved in an investigation.
A police report filed not long after the incident reveals that police offers did in fact question the other woman. She claimed that she had no intentions of harming the baby. The reports indicated that Lorelai suffered no harm or injury and that charges would not be filed in the case.
Following the frightening chain of events, the hospital released the following statement:
An incident occurred in one of our patient care units (not labor and delivery) on Friday involving two patients, one of them a pediatric patient. While we cannot go into details because of patient privacy laws, two of our nurses acted immediately, followed all protocols, and rapidly brought the situation under control. Because of their quick work, all patients remained safe. Our nurses quickly secured the pediatric patient and mother and fully cooperated with police, who declined to take action against anyone. We are grateful that everyone is safe, and we wish everyone the best and continued good health.”
While Lory Beth Snyder and baby Lorelai are doing just fine, not all new mothers are so lucky. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has reported that 306 infants were abducted between 1983 and 2016, with 138 being taken in healthcare facilities. Just as Lory Beth experienced, many of these children were taken directly from the mother’s room.