Teen Walks Into Hospital With Shoebox When Nurse Opens It She Can’t Believe Her Eyes

A teen walked into a hospital with a shoebox. When a nurse opened it, she couldn’t believe her eyes. For over two decades, Jenny Joseph had worked as a neonatal nurse. Over the years, she had seen and heard stories of unusual circumstances in which babies were brought into this world. But 14 years ago, she played a major role in a story of her own that has now become huge, and it all started with a shoebox.

Jenny was working at the Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, Illinois, on April 24, 2004. She was in the special care nursery when she was called from the emergency department and told there was someone to see her. Down the hall, she noticed a teary-eyed teen boy wearing a hoodie and holding a shoebox. Jenny was shocked when she looked inside the box. Wrapped in a dish towel in Dahl’s onesie was a three-pound baby inside the shoebox. The hospital staff put the baby in isolation immediately while the team just stood there.

Three hours later, the staff managed to stabilize the baby, but Jenny saw that the teen had waited and cried the entire time. So she walked up to him in order to learn more. “They came to our hospital to take advantage of the safe haven and leave the baby here at the hospital, so it was left in a safe place,” Jenny agreed. But she told him that once he relinquished his parental rights, she wouldn’t be able to give him updates on the baby’s condition. So she offered him two parental bracelets and suggested he think about the options before making a decision.

The teen and his girlfriend, Cherish Codes, came to see their child at the hospital. The girl was clearly upset and had her head down. Jenny immediately went over to her and just put her hand on her and introduced herself. But then she said to her, “You did everything right. I know that you’re scared and you’re ashamed and you’re embarrassed, but I want you to know that you saved this baby’s life.

You did everything right.” That’s when a bond formed between the girl and nurse. Cherish confided in Jenny, who comforted her without any judgment. “She all of a sudden looked up at me and then just started crying, and we just kind of connected,” she admitted. Cherish explained that she hid her pregnancy from her folks because they wanted her to graduate and then go off to college.

Her own mom had given birth when she was 15, and Cherish was raised by her grandparents, whom she didn’t want to let down. She also explained the grueling way she gave birth on her own. Cherish was able to hide her stomach for months until she started getting cramps at school. So when she got home, she locked herself in a room and dealt with labor pains alone. She called her boyfriend as soon as the baby was born.

The boy climbed a ladder to get to her bedroom. They were terrified, which is why the boy took the baby to the hospital, but he left an explanation before heading out. The teenagers placed the baby in a shoebox in a Winnie the Pooh doll. Then they added a touching note that said, “We love you. We’re just not able to raise you.

We want his name to be Alan Corey, and we’ll hope to be able to see you again. God will be watching over you.” Then the boy walked nearly eight miles with a box. It was shocking the baby survived the trip. The baby was born six weeks early and was suffering from hypothermia.

Medical specialists also treated the baby for an infection caused by the scissors when the cord was cut. He was dehydrated too. But Bonnie was doing something more premature babies rarely do: he was breathing on his own. “There was someone looking down on him,” said the doctor who treated him. But Cherish had issues giving him up.

Jenny wanted Cherish to know all of the options available to her, like open adoption, but she also wanted her to tell her family. Cherish recalls, “I remember her just being so inviting and so welcoming. She didn’t ever talk to me like I was some stupid teenager. She had the most respect.” Eventually, the girl decided to tell her mom, who she assumed would be more forgiving since she’d gone through the same thing herself.

Cherish escorted her mom to the incubator, and the woman’s face turned white. Cherish didn’t know what to say until Jenny arrived to save the day. Cherish’s mom wanted to hold the baby, which surprised the teen. A few hours later, her grandmother arrived at the hospital. When she realized she had plenty of love and support, she decided not to give the child away.

Four weeks later, baby Alan left the hospital. But before he departed, Jenny asked Cherish to promise her that she’d stay in school. It turns out her grandparents were willing to watch the baby while she was in school, but Cherish enrolled in an alternative school with daycare. She explained that “I did not want to place that burden on them.” Cherish and Jenny lost touch until 12 years had passed.

“Like each time he would reach a certain milestone, I would think about her. So one day, I’m like, I’m just going to reach out to her and let her know what we’re up to now. I’m like, it’s been all those times past, and I would like to update her on how well Alan’s doing and thank her for being such a motivating person and being as caring as she was.” Jenny got a Facebook message from Cherish in 2016. She’s 29 and living in Glendale, Arizona.

She’s also a mom of three, including Alan, who is currently five foot three and playing soccer, running cross country, and is also a part of the Naval Academy cadets. But Cherish wasn’t the only one who had made a really great life for herself after high school. Cherish went to Rock Valley College and eventually became a certified nurse assistant. “Starting school to go for the nursing program, and it was because of Jenny. Like, I was motivated just watching her and the great care that she gave my son.

She spent seven years working at an Illinois hospital and in Arizona. Then she applied to law school and was now a law clerk until she graduated. Her hope is to become a mental health attorney, and who do you think inspired that choice? It was Jenny, of course. This is what Cherish had to say about Jenny: “I just wanted to let her know how much of an impression she made.

We will always be connected because we share this unique story.” The women remained in touch on social media but haven’t gotten together yet. One thing Jenny will admit is that she acknowledged the impact her empathy had on Cherish, but it’s something any of her colleagues would have done. Jenny had this to say about her role: “Now I’m so proud of her, and it’s just a happy, happy, happy story. And I’m really honored to have been a part of it.

Jenny continues to work at Swedish American Hospital and enjoys seeing how big Alan has gotten on Facebook and is happy she played a part in his life.

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