It was midnight when Houston mom Corterra Payton was forced to flee her apartment with her 11-month-old son, Duran. She had no money nor anyone to turn to; she entertained the prospect of sleeping in her car with her baby boy.
It wasn’t a situation she had gotten into intentionally. After getting into an argument with her boyfriend, who had a violent temper and was prone to being abusive, she felt there was no other option but for her and her son to get out.
A hotel room would be out of the question, as Payton had no money. Her family was in Cleveland and would be unable to come get her. She had gone to a shelter, but as it was nighttime, she had been turned away and told to come back the next day.
The desperate mom thought they might be resigned to their last option, though it didn’t sit well with her and gave her enough reason to be worried.
She later told ABC News, “We are going to be sleeping in the car, somebody going to come up with a gun, kill us, rob us. Either that or they will see me sleeping.
“A woman, guy, somebody will come by the car and say, ‘Oh, she sleeping in the car with her baby. We fixing to call the police.’”
For a new mom who cared about her child, this wasn’t really an option. Thankfully, she found a perfect stranger at her local fire station.
The Texas “Safe Haven” law or “Baby Moses” law was created to protect children whose parents are unable to care for them, allowing them “a safe and legal choice to leave their infant with an employee at a designated safe place,” no questions asked.
Designated safe places include hospitals, freestanding emergency medical care facilities, and EMS or fire stations.
It was at Fire Station 68 that Payton met department captain John Nanninga. They welcomed her and her son with open arms.
“Thank you, God!” she cried. “Because I know they have the law with firefighters the baby can’t be over 60 days, and they still took him, so I am thankful for that.”
She feared for her safety. Corterra Payton said she had an argument with her boyfriend, so she left with her 11-month-old son, Duran. She said she didn't have anywhere else to go, so she dropped him off with Houston firefighters. https://abc13.co/2YAbzRp
由 ABC13 Houston 发布于 2019年5月14日周二
Nanninga, who is a dad himself, went above and beyond the call of duty taking care of Duran during his visit. Video footage at the scene showed him gently rocking the baby boy on his shoulder—a truly tender picture to behold.
“She had no income,” said Nanninga. “She had nowhere to stay. She had nowhere to go. She had no way to feed him. She was out of diapers. She had no food for him, nothing.
“She couldn’t take care of him anymore and thought, I need put him somewhere that can,” he added. “She was going to be back for the kid, because she obviously cared for the child.”
And he was right.
This was sent to me.. Thanks to the firefighters!!
Fortunately, Payton didn’t have to leave her son for long. She returned an hour later, and the police were there to take both of them to Child Protective Services where they would be able to take refuge for the night.
Later, the new mother arranged her family to take care of Duran until she got paid at her new job and was able to make ends meet. In the meantime, the fire station’s video of John Nanninga stepping up to save the day has gone viral online.
The lesson? If you’re seeking a perfect stranger in your own hour of need, look no further than your local fire station.