Celeste Nurse, the woman whose daughter was stolen from the Groote Schuur Hospital close to eighteen years ago while she slept has said that she forgave the woman whole stole her baby because the girl “had a good life with her,” it was learnt on Saturday.
As a young twenty year old expecting mother, Celeste Nurse went into the huge Capetonian hospital full of excitement and anticipation for her upcoming baby. After a normal delivery and as she lied down to rest her aching body which felt torn apart by this amazing process of child birth, Celeste dozed off with the baby in her arms. Sometime during her nap, another woman dressed as a nurse entered her ward and softly snatched the sleeping baby from its real mother’s loving arms. That was the last time that this biological mother ever saw her angel. In another part of the country, another family was welcoming home a newborn child even though only the mother knew where she had gotten the child. She had suffered her second miscarriage and had not been looking forward to the prospect of going back to her husband empty handed again.
It was not until almost eighteen years later that the child was discovered by a complete accident. When one of their daughters said she had met a friend and apparently brought her home, neighbours and friends were astounded by the striking resemblance of these ‘friends’. However, while everybody was shell shocked and dumbfounded, the girl’s biological father, Mourńe Nurse quickly notched up a gear and went into overdrive doing his own private investigations, first perusing the girl’s Facebook profile where he searched for old photographs of the girl as well as those of her mother. He immediately sent the photo of the mother to the witness from hospital more than seventeen years ago who could still remember the ‘nurse’ who took the child away then. The witness quickly replied that it was the woman who had stolen the baby. Mourńe then went to the police and demanded that DNA tests be carried out. When the results came confirming Celeste and Mourńe as the parents, the woman was arrested and the girl, Zephany was taken by child welfare authorities to a secret location where she is being looked after.
Speaking after the discovery of this old crime by their neighbour, the neighbours of the woman who raised the girl expressed shock at this information, adding, however, that the woman had raised the child like her only child, encouraging her to study and to stay in school. In the same vein, Celeste also praised the woman for raising her child well and said she had forgiven her for taking her baby those many years ago. The biological father, however, was cautious in speaking his forgiveness opting rather to say that he had nothing to say to them. Zephany, who is known by the name given to her by this woman who raised her, has opted to keep this name. She will also decide which family she is going to live with after she turns eighteen in about two months but the Nurses have said that whatever decision she will decide to take, they are willing to accept. Zephany has said that even though she loved the woman who raised her for the past seventeen years dearly, the past seventeen years have been a “lie”!
However, more recently, the Centre Child Law announced that the two families had reached an agreement which reflected the girl’s wishes and this agreement was about visits, birthdays, and special occasions. The centre added that this agreement would not be made public in order to protect the girl who is still considered a minor.