Imagine being out on the job - a job no one aspires to, but we all complain if they don’t do it - at 4:30 am. It’s still dark out and the air temp is a less-than-comfortable mid-thirties. You’re moving along the deserted country road at barely five miles per hour so you can accurately toss the daily newspaper into the yards of your customers. Then. In the light of your headlamps, you spot something in the middle of the road.
At first, you think it’s an animal but upon closer inspection, you realize that it’s something much more urgent. And it's DEFINITELY not something you expected to see way out here at this hour of the morning! And then it dawns on you that your actions in the next few moments are the only thing standing between life and death.
According to Fox News, that's exactly what 21-year-old Aurelio Fuentes, Jr. experienced in the wee hours of Monday morning when he was out on his usual route in the outskirts of the city, delivering copies of the Fresno Bee.
And what was it he found? A tiny baby girl lying in the middle of the country road, wearing nothing but a onesie.
“Aurelio Fuentes Jr. told the paper that he didn’t know what he was seeing at first. It was 4:30 a.m. and dark. He said he thought it was a small animal and approached it slowly. He saw that it was a baby dressed in a onesie without a diaper and lying on its back.”
Fuentes saw that the little girl was alive, but definitely not for long if he didn’t do something immediately!
That’s when Fuentes noticed a woman in another car nearby, who offered her help to the paper delivery man.
“A woman in another car told him to bring the girl into her car, which was warm inside. Fuentes reportedly brought the baby inside and unzipped the onesie to warm her, and noticed the umbilical cord.”
Police say witnesses reported seeing a young Hispanic woman thought to be in her early 20s around the same time that the baby was found.
“About 4:30 a.m., a woman driving a smaller white SUV stopped a man walking east on Avenue 13 1/2,” Undersheriff Tyson Pogue said. “She got out of her car and asked him if he could help her.”
The man reportedly instructed the woman to take the baby to the authorities.
“She asked if he could take her child,” Pogue said.
“The man told her to go to a fire station or nearby Valley Children’s Hospital. The woman then drove away.”
Thank goodness Fuentes came by just a short time later. If another car had come by driving at a normal speed, there would not have been time for the driver to stop before hitting the baby.
“I was like I gotta act fast, fast, fast, because this baby could be dying.”
“If there was another vehicle, that baby would have been badly hurt (or killed),” he said. He also pointed out that there are coyotes in the area. Yikes!
“NEWBORN BABY FOUND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD: According to CHP, a newspaper delivery driver found a newborn baby girl just hours born in the middle of this Madera Co. road. The Madera Co. Sheriff’s Office is taking over this criminal investigation.”
“EMS took the baby to Valley Children's Hospital. The hospital says the baby was only 6-8 hours old.”
The still unidentified baby girl is said to be in good condition.
"First responders are using this opportunity to remind those in crisis of the 'Safe Surrender Program.”' Staffed Fire Stations and Hospitals are considered safe surrender sites, where a mother can drop off a newborn without being prosecuted."
California is one of several states that provide this service for parents who may have second thoughts about keeping their newborns.
“The California Safe Surrendered Baby law ensures parents of babies can turn the newborn over to authorities for 72 hours with no questions asked.
“Safe surrender sites are hospitals or other locations, typically fire stations, approved by the board of supervisors or fire agency in each county, according to the law.”
“Life is so precious...how can you carry a child then leave it on the road to die?! People, you can surrender babies at any fire station/police station no questions asked!!”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 559-675-7770.
Thank goodness there are still heroes out there like Mr. Fuentes who are willing to insert themselves into someone else's crisis, thereby making all the difference in the world for one vulnerable, innocent human being.