WILMINGTON, N.C. (CNN/WECT) — A walk with her dog turned into a life-saving rescue for a North Carolina woman when she found a baby sealed in a garbage bag inside a trash bin.
Cynthia Burton walks her dog Flounder several times a day. Thursday, they decided to take a different path home because of the hot pavement. That’s when she heard a noise coming from a garbage bin behind a nearby church.
“I heard a cry, a loud cry and then I kept hearing it,” said Burton.
What she found will stay with her forever. It was a baby boy, just born, the umbilical cord still wrapped around his neck.
“He would not have survived if someone hadn’t been walking that way because he was in the trash bin at the bottom,” said Burton. “He was in a trash bag and the ties were tight. I couldn’t open them. I had to rip the trash liner part.”
She ran to a nearby apartment complex screaming for help. Luckily a neighbor heard her and ran to assist. They cradled the baby boy and Burton calmly removed the cord and sang ‘Jesus loves me’ to the tiny infant.
“I saw the baby and I just knew I had to take action,” she said. “I didn’t even wait a second, I knew I had to take action because the baby was so bloody, it looked like it had just been born.”
She says it was a mixture of divine intervention and being aware of her surroundings that saved the young boy’s life.
“It’s pretty powerful,” said Burton. “It changes your life. And I know God put me in that place at that time.”
Despite the trauma of the boy’s first moments here on earth, Burton hopes the child grows up knowing his life has worth.
“He’s special,” said Burton. “He was loved from the very beginning that I got him in my arms and sang, you know, ‘Jesus loves me’ that he’s gonna live a wonderful life and he’s very powerful and very strong because he cried out to live, and if I had walked by and not heard a sound, I’d have kept on walking. But he cried, and he kept on crying and he kept on crying. He cried until I went and got the bag and pulled him up and when I opened the bag, he stopped crying. That’s when I believe he knew he was safe.”
North Carolina has a safe surrender law, allowing anyone who has a child to turn it over to a first responder, a social worker, or a health care provider.