Mother fights for her newborn baby who was taken away and put in foster care because of a hospital mix-up

Mother fights for her newborn baby who was taken away and put in foster care because of a hospital mix-up

Willing to do anything to bring her baby back home, the mother said: "If you need my left arm, I will give it to you."

There was a point in her life when Heather Smith, 32, thought she would never have a child. Doctors told her that she wouldn't have a baby because she had severe endometriosis.

More than a year later, she felt it was one of the biggest joys of her life to know that she was pregnant. However, after her baby girl finally arrived, Heather found herself fighting to even hold her newborn in her arms because of a hospital mix-up.

On June 15, Heather delivered her little one at the Genesis Hospital in Zanesville and named her daughter Sage. The infant was 7 pounds 9 ounces and 21 inches long at birth and seemed absolutely perfect.

However, the hospital staff took Sage away from Heather because they confused the mother's identity with that of another patient, who had meth and fentanyl in their system, according to WSYX ABC 6.


"The baby’s drug screen came back clean," Heather said. "The core blood from the placenta came back clean. Wouldn’t she be having a lot of withdrawal symptoms? Wouldn’t she be sick? For me, to supposedly have these drugs in my system, please please prove that to me under my date of birth. Prove it to me under my name. My registration number."

While sharing her story, Heather mentioned how she had eight surgeries for her medical condition within the span of one and a half years. After thinking she would never have a baby, she found Sage's arrival all the more remarkable.

"She is something special. She definitely is," Heather said. "I shouldn’t have had a child at all and she is just the biggest surprise of my life. So I want her home."

Even after she left the hospital, Heather still kept the hospital identification bracelet that had the incorrect information. Despite her efforts after Sage's birth, the mother found that the hospital wasn't acknowledging their mistake and added that she began fighting to get Sage out of foster care.

"I actually corrected them in the hospital. And I said this is not me. She took my ID and scanned it. Brought it back," Heather explained. "She should have cut that bracelet off. At this point I think it’s more they don’t want to admit their mistake."

Although the lab tests said that she had heavy drugs in her system, Heather denies ever having taken substances like meth and fentanyl in her life.

"Just the powder of that stuff, if it gets on your skin, it’s lethal," she noted. "To have that in my system and my baby not, there is no chance."


For both Heather and the father of her child, Rob Gleason, their baby is an absolute blessing. And seeing Sage go to foster care was extremely distressing.

Willing to do just about anything to bring Sage home, the mother said in the month of June: "If you need my left arm, I will give it to you. Whatever it takes to get her home I will give it to you."

"For me not even to have the chance to feed her yet, not even feed her yet has just completely thrown my world upside down," Heather went on to say. “Why? Why is she not here? Why have you not done more tests? Why have you not answered my questions. All I want is my child home with me in my arms. Please let me be the mom I always wanted to be."

Cover image: Representational (Source: Getty Images | Photo by Daria Zaseda)

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