A woman had one glance at her newborn child before he was taken away and replaced with another child that looked nothing like herself or her husband. She eventually took a DNA test, and the truth came to light, but it was only the beginning.
Having children is an integral part of life, but many things could go wrong. Mercy Casanelles had to endure an emotional roller coaster when she woke up one day with a nagging emotion that her baby had been switched.
Nobody believed her, and eventually, she was convinced she had made a mistake, so she returned home with her supposed child. Here's how it was resolved.
[Left] Mercy Casanelles biological son, Jacob; [Right] Mercy Casanelles with tears in her eyes. | Source: youtube.com/BBC News
A MOTHER'S INSTINCT
Mothers are said to have stronger bonds with their kids because of their connection in the womb. Still, the nurses who attended to Mercy ignored that point and told her that she had been heavily drugged during the delivery, which ended in a C-section, and could not remember her child's face.
Of course, the mother insisted that the baby she had briefly kissed after he was born had looked more like her husband, but the nurses disagreed, and so did every other person she pointed it out to. Finally, her friends said the baby was hers, and eventually, the mother relented.
Mercy Casanelles and her husband Rich Cushworth with their biological son, Jacob. | Source: youtube.com/BBC News
Unfortunately, she had to have the baby separated from her husband, Rich Cushworth, because she had been forced to return to El Salvador as she had only been in Texas on a temporary visa. Her husband stayed back in the U.S waiting for the good news, so he was not there to back her up.
Alone and unsure of her instinct as a mother, Mercy took the baby and returned to Texas so that the child, who they named Joseph, could meet his father. She told him what she suspected upon meeting him, so they kept their eyes peeled for signs.
Mercy Casanelles and her husband Rich Cushworth with the child they were given at the hospital, Joseph. | Source: youtube.com/BBC News
"BABIES CHANGE COLOR"
After a couple of days with the child, it was apparent something was off; the baby they had taken home seemed to have gotten darker.
They were afraid that their child had been exchanged to be sold to organ harvesters and child traffickers. When they raised their concerns, the hospital staff told them that "babies change color."
Mercy and her husband cared for the baby like he was their own despite her suspicion. She even admitted she started to fall in love with the baby at some point, which made it difficult for her because she had to live knowing that the boy may not be hers.
Mercy Casanelles and her husband Rich Cushworth on their way to return Joseph to his original parents. | Source: youtube.com/BBC News
Eventually, when she could no longer endure not knowing, she got a DNA test done — an act that made her feel like she was betraying her son.
The DNA revealed there was zero chance she was the boy's mother, and it started the search for their own child.
Rich Cushworth and his wife Mercy Casanelles with their son, Jacob having fun at a playground. | Source: youtube.com/BBC News
A HAPPY REUNION
Learning her child had been switched was a traumatic experience for Mercy, who worried about her child's unknown fate.
After some time, she and her husband attended a special court hearing where they were told their child had been found.
Other mothers who had welcomed kids on the same day had been ordered to undergo DNA tests that quickly yielded expected results.
The couple had a few hours to say goodbye to the child they had loved for weeks, after which they returned him to his biological parents.
Meanwhile, the couple has had no problem with their son, who Mercy revealed during an interview, was a peaceful child who did not cry or throw tantrums as he readjusted to a new environment.
The doctors will undoubtedly have trouble keeping Mercy under if they ever have to deliver her child through C-section again.