A mother and son have reunited with the nurse who convinced her not to give up her child. Cherish Coates was just 15-years-old when she gave birth to a baby boy in her bedroom. Overwhelmed and anxious for the future, she wrapped the little one up and placed her in a shoebox.
“I called my boyfriend and told him, ‘I just delivered the baby,'” Cherish explained in an episode of the Doctors, as reported by the Daily Mail. “He said, ‘I’m on my way over.’ I went over to my desk and got a pair of old metal scissors, and I cut the umbilical cord.”
Shocked at what had just happened, Cherish’s boyfriend mentioned the contingency of “Safe Haven” – a law that enables mother’s to anonymously give away their newborn babies without fear of prosecution. “I found a shoe box, had it wrapped in some towels from around the house,” Cherish recalled. “We wrote a note, we wanted him to be named Allen Cory. [We wrote] that we loved him so much and wanted him to have the best future possible.”
Three days after dropping him off, Cherish went to visit her son – that’s when she first met Jeannie Joseph, a nurse who had been taking care of Allen in the NIC. “He was three pounds three ounces,” Cherish explained. “He had hypothermia, different infections, and I remember her telling me how I had saved his life by making sure he got to the hospital.”
It would be the start of a friendship that resulted in Cherish taking her little boy home and raising him into the wonderful, 13-year-old young man he is today. Much of it, Cherish said, came down to respect. Jeannie knew how to engage the young mother without any hint of being judgemental. “Jeannie talked to me like I was a parent and not just, like, a stupid teen,” Cherish said. “I remember sitting there in a rocking chair with Allen against my chest, feeling so much love for him, thinking about “What am I going to do? Am I keeping him, or am I giving him up for adoption?”‘
Jeannie continued to encourage Cherish, urging her to get an education.
“She was very understanding and very generous and she shared advice with me, and also encouraged me to tell my family about what was going on,” Coates explained. “She really encouraged me to continue on and go to school and do something with myself. She was great.”
Now, for the first time since Allen was just a tiny newborn, the two women reunited on the set of The Doctors. It was a stunning moment, and one that brought everyone in the studio to tears.
“I’m so proud of you,” Jeannie told Cherish as the pair shared a heartfelt embrace. The nurse turned to Allen, “You’re so handsome!” she declared. “You look just like your mom.”
“She’s an amazing mama and she was an amazing teenager,” Jeannie added. “I’ve never met a 15-year-old like her that was so brave and just amazing.”
Cherish took a moment to express her gratitude toward the amazing nurse. “I feel so blessed to have even run into you. You really made an impact on my life,” she said.
“Well, you made an impact on my life too,” Jeannie replied.
Joseph talked of the stunning reunion after the show aired. She said that there wasn’t a dry eye in the entire studio.
“God is so good,” one person commented on a photo of the reunuon. “Yes he is,” replied Coates.
“It was amazing. I looked into his face, and he had the same face as his mom,” Joseph said, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. “I was trying to get ahold of myself, and then I’d look at the audience, and they were all crying, and then I’d start crying again.”