A little boy in Iowa is thriving at home with his family just 16 months after his mother left him for dead in a hospital trash can.
16-month-old Matthew Addison is a happy and healthy toddler today, but there was a time when his family did not know whether he would survive.
Brandon Addison, Matthew’s father, said it all started after his daughter Ahnna got sick and had to be rushed to the hospital.
“Ahnna was really sick and had to be put in Iowa City Hospital. While we were up there I had to leave one night to get ready for work," Addison said, according to KWQC/CNN.
While waiting at the hospital, Ashley Hautzenrader, Matthew’s mother, suddenly gave birth in the bathroom.
In her state of utter shock, Hautzenrader reportedly attempted to flush Matthew down the toilet.
When that didn’t work, Hautzenrader wrapped Matthew in a pillowcase and dumped him in a trash can before fleeing the scene.
Thankfully, a hospital worker found Matthew just in the nick of time and called Addison right away.
"That's when my heart just sunk and all I could think of was please let him be okay and they said that he was really cold and he needed to be put under a heating lamp. I was in shock," Addison said.
Addison had reportedly approached Hautzenrader before the incident and confronted her about being pregnant, but it’s unclear if she admitted to the pregnancy during that conversation.
While Addison is still heartbroken over what Matthew’s mother put him through, he hopes the toddler’s story shows other parents that there are other options in situations like these.
"If you cannot handle it, do not do what she did. Go out there and learn about safe havens and adoption agencies," he said.
When Matthew is much older, Addison does plan to tell him about his shocking birth story.
"Obviously one day when he's older I'm going to have to sit down and talk to him and hopefully he'll be mature enough to understand what happened and it will initially be his decision to forgive her or not," he said.
On Friday, Hautzenrader was sentenced to just five years of probation after a psychiatrist testified that she had likely been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when she gave birth.
Doctors said she had a traumatic birth with her first child Ahnna, who ultimately underwent a heart transplant and is now healthy.
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