Newborn Baby Was Set on Fire and Left for Dead, But She Survived

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 8, 2014   |   6:18PM   |   Swaziland, Africa

In a horrific case of attempted infanticide in Africa, a newborn baby was thrown into a pit by her mother, set on fire and left for dead.

But, miraculously, Baby Shirley, born in Swaziland, Africa, survived and now she is in the hands of a loving couple who don’t see a person’s value in how perfect they look or the perceived quality of their life.

Now, she is in the United States and being cared for by a Missouri couple who brought the little girl back to the U.S. for a lifesaving surgery. Raelenna and Jeremy Ferguson are missionaries to Africa and they are still surprised they were able to care for Shirley.

But why would a mother do that to her own baby and how did the American family get to help Shirley? Here’s more:

babyshirley“There’s extreme poverty and a high HIV rate,” Raelenna Ferguson said. “We can’t explain why she did it.”

Swaziland police took the woman into custody and the baby to the hospital, and then to prison where even though the mom attempted to kill her, she still had to care for her.

“That’s just how it is in that country,” Raelenna Ferguson said.

That’s when Heart for Africa stepped in, a mission with a base in Cape Girardeau. They have a home for babies where the infant would be cared for for life, but without surgery they knew Shirley would die.

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“For her to eat and breathe at the same time, it’s almost impossible,” she said.

Needed procedures weren’t available in Africa.

That’s when Ferguson said the miracles started to happen.

With one email, an organization called Global Medical Relief Fund agreed to provide free life saving surgery and care for little Shirley, but she had to make it to the United States. Another near impossibility.

“Because the country of Swaziland does not allow international adoptions,” Jeremy Ferguson explained. “I don’t know how unprecedented it is, but from what we’ve talked about with people in the country, this just doesn’t happen.”