Looking forward to a blessed year with their newborn ... Parents have no ill will for baby-snatcher
Although many persons kicked off the beginning of a new year in merriment, with hopes and dreams and the possibilities of great things to come, it is quite likely that no family was happier than Milton Maxwell and his wife Angel Praba, who held their one-month-old baby close as the clock struck midnight. Giving thanks to have her back after she was snatched mere inches from her mother's arms at the University Hospital of the West Indies in December last year.
On December 9 last year, one-day-old baby Danisha Milton Maxwell, who turned a month old last week, was asleep in a cot next to her mother. After nurses administered pain medication to Praba, she became drowsy and fell asleep. When she woke up her baby was missing.
The horror that followed, and later the relief of getting their second child back, is something the Maxwells never want to experience again.
Today, Danisha's parents are trying not to focus on what happened, but to bask in their blessings.
"It was a special Christmas and new year for us. I couldn't have asked for a better way to start my new year, and it was all because of our baby. She is the perfect gift," the proud father told The Gleaner.
"On Christmas Day, we went to church and then we had a get-together with friends, and it was the same thing New Year's Day. When we went to church, the reverend prayed for her and also prayed for us, so it has been a fabulous time," he continued.
Praba noted that though the incident was very scary, she is now experiencing limitless joy and happiness.
"When I didn't see her ... oh, I don't want to remember that day, it was a bad day. The first time I saw that my baby was alive and back in my arms, I can't explain the happiness I felt. When she went missing I cried tears of sadness; but when she came back, we cried tears of happiness. I prayed so hard for them to take back my child," she recalled.
Maxwell said, "She called me at 10:40 in the morning, saying that the baby is missing. I couldn't say anything, I was just blank. We checked everywhere, even the dust bin," he said smiling. "At three o clock, we were still confused and then at about 5:45 (the same day), while I was at the prime minister's office, I was informed that my baby was found."
Parents Milton and Angel Praba Maxwell say they hold no ill will towards the person who took their baby one day after she was born at the University Hospital of the West Indies. Happy to get their child back later that fateful day on December 9, they shared that they hoped the person would be provided with some psychological assistance.
"I have never seen her, but she made a mistake and I assume she is going through some psychological issue. She took our baby, but we got her back in good condition, so that's all we are happy about. We don't want to punish her any further," the father said.
"She took the baby, but when we examined her, she was fed, she (the woman) changed her clothes and overall, she took care of her. So, at least she kept the baby in good condition. We have forgiven her and we don't want to carry the issue any further. We just want to focus on our children."
Praba had similar sentiments, stating that, "I am only mad that I slept on the ward, I got drowsy and that's how she got the baby. Of course, I was angry at first, but the policeman asked me what I want to do and I told him that we don't want to do anything. If they want to go further with it, that's their choice, but we have dropped it."
The mother of two expressed that despite the responsibilities that come with being a mother, she enjoys every moment.
"Every two hours she wakes up and I have to feed her and change her, but despite the tiredness, I couldn't be happier."
"From all of this, I have just learnt that you have to be super careful. We don't want this to happen to any other mother, so I encourage everyone to be careful."