LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. – A newborn is in critical condition after his mother allegedly gave birth in a Pennsylvania bathroom and left the boy partially submerged in a toilet bowl, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office.
Emmanuella Osei, 23, now faces a charge of endangering the welfare of a child, a felony because of the boy's age.
Osei gave birth to the baby boy in the bathroom of a Warwick Township assisted-living facility where she was working, according to WPMT. Minutes prior, she called her supervisor to relieve her at work because she was in pain, and, shortly after that, advised her boss to call 911 as she couldn't hold the pain anymore.
Osei, who came from Ghana to live with her uncle in Reading in May, 2018, also told police she was "afraid to touch it" and "didn't know how to help [the baby]," a criminal complaint states.
Osei allegedly admitted that she remained on the toilet and never moved to check and see if the newborn was moving or breathing.
Police found Osei in the bathroom with the door ajar, a large amount of blood and what appeared to be an umbilical cord, according to a news release from the Lancaster DA.
The unresponsive infant, whose skin was cold and appeared blue, was believed to have been in the water for about 10 to 15 minutes, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office.
Cpl. Curtis Orchs used CPR to get the boy breathing again, and he was transported to the hospital after being resuscitated. The baby is currently on a ventilator in stable but critical condition.
"The quick thinking and actions of Corporal Ochs almost certainly saved this child’s life," District Attorney Craig Stedman said. "This is a reminder of how much our men and women in uniform do for us."
Osei claimed she first learned of her pregnancy on January 4 during a trip to Reading Hospital, police wrote in the criminal complaint. She later admitted that wasn't the case -- having known since May 2018, when she went to a clinic in Ghana.
Medical records confirmed Osei's visit to the emergency room, the criminal complaint notes, and she was told by hospital staff that she was at least 34 weeks pregnant, possibly more. Police also wrote that Osei left the hospital following the visit, going against doctor's orders after staff tried to admit her. The criminal complaint adds that Osei did not seek follow-up medical care since the visit.
According to the criminal complaint, Osei kept her pregnancy a secret from friends and family because she feared that they would be disappointed in her. She has an almost 2-year-old daughter in Ghana currently living with her mother, police said.
Osei was arrested Wednesday afternoon and is being held at Lancaster County Prison without bail.