Dan Bohr had told his wife he wanted to cook out steaks that night and was preparing the grill for a casual Saturday night in his backyard. But what was supposed to be a weekend cookout turned into a night he and his family would never forget.
??I turned to pour the pan of charcoal in and I saw something move. I thought it was a cat. Then I realized it looked like a doll was laying in the back of the dumpster on the right hand side and as I looked closer, I saw its leg move,?? said Bohr.
Bohr ran to his wife and immediately retrieved the baby from the dumpster. The couple then wiped off the excess trash and fluids from the baby??s face, and wrapped him in a towel while waiting for authorities.
??Panic. Pretty much, panic and wanting them to get there as fast as possible,?? said Bohr when talking about the moments where he held the newborn while waiting for the authorities to arrive. ??You know it always seems like time is crawling whenever you??re in an emergency situation and that was certainly the case. You??re just wondering when they??re going to get there.??
Bohr said this was the first time he has ever held a newborn other than his own and the experience was surreal. He said the main feeling he felt was sadness for the baby boy who was born without the love of parents. His wife, he said, was even more emotional during the whole experience.
EMS and authorities arrived on scene quickly and were able to give the newborn treatment on scene. He was then transported to a local hospital and moved to Texas Northwest in Amarillo the following morning. That same morning, the mother, 21-year-old Shonnie Smalley, was arrested on charges of endangerment to a child. The charge is a first degree felony and she was given a $50,000 bail. However, she was released on a bail bond early Tuesday evening.
Due to HIPAA regulations, the condition of the baby cannot be released. However, EMS representatives for the Coon Memorial Hospital were able to discuss different conditions that could affect a newborn.
??With any birth, a baby requires certain nutrition, certain care after birth. Without the proper nutrition, obviously there is going to be some deficit as far as the baby getting the needs from either the mother??s milk or from any type of milk or food supplement,?? said Scott Leatherwood, Director of the EMS for the county hospital district. ??If you have a child that??s left out in the heat or out in the weather, you??re obviously going to have some sort of damage to the child that can either be through the heat itself, causing damage to the cellular levels or any type of oxygen deprivation that could have occurred.??
Health professionals said that there are several necessary steps that are protocol for ensuring a baby??s health immediately after birth and that skipping any of those steps can put the baby in danger.
??If something is going to be wrong with the baby, it??s usually in the first 24 hours,?? said Kelly Gallaway, the Emergency Room manager. ??A newborn, they??re not adapted to be able to regulate their body temperatures, so they??re really dependent on someone else to keep them warm. They are very susceptible to infections because they haven??t built up their immune system yet.??
Both health professionals said that children and infants can be very resilient when it comes to fighting off illness and injuries, but once they being showing symptoms, it is a ??downhill slope??.