When Jeannie Joseph first came into contact with the shoebox baby, she was working as a neonatal nurse at SwedishAmerican hospital in Rockford, Illinois, for 10 years. She was in the special care nursery during the time when she saw a small child sobbing in the corner while wearing a hooded sweatshirt and carrying a shoebox.
The look of sheer fear on his face indicated that something extremely serious had occurred.
A baby weighing 3 pounds was found inside the shoebox. The tiny infant wore a onesie meant for a doll even though it was wrapped in a dish towel. They managed to save his life by administering treatment for cold, dehydration, and an infection that was caused by the pair of household scissors that had been used to cut his umbilical chord.
While the medical professionals inside the hospital did all they could to rescue the infant, the child’s adolescent father waited outside the facility, crying uncontrollably.
The young man accepted Jeannie’s offer of the parental bracelets and put them on himself and the baby’s mother so that they might return to see him. The young couple came back the next day, and continued to come back every day after that for many weeks.
Cherish Coates, who was just 15 years old at the time, was revealed to be the mother of the shoebox baby.
It didn’t take Jeannie long to figure out that parents of the shoebox baby were frightened and not unkind. A handwritten message from Cherish was found inside and it read as follows: “We want you to know how much we love you; nonetheless, we are unable to raise you.”
The kind-hearted nurse placed her hand on Cherish’s shoulder and escorted her to the incubator where her baby was being cared for.
Unfortunately, Allen’s father is no longer a part of his life in any way. Cherish and Jeannie remained in contact for a time but, as life progressed, they gradually lost touch with one another.
The nurse who still works at SwedishAmerican’s special care nursery got a message on Facebook one day and it came from Cherish, 29 years old, who is now a mother of three and resides in Arizona, where she works as a legal clerk.