NAMPA -- Dr. Tristan Galloway was in the middle of a root canal when his life took a dramatic turn on Monday, April 22.
Galloway and his staff had been approached by a desperate new mother who wanted to surrender her child. The young dentist says his office manager was awestruck, and asked if the woman was serious.
The mother said 'Yeah, I want to leave the baby, Galloway explained.
For office manager Diane Scheirbon, the moment was emotional. Scheirbon says the young woman had just given birth, then traveled on foot to Galloway's office on the corner of 8th Street and 17th Avenue.
She just handed me the baby, and she was ready to go, Scheirbon said. She was ready to walk right out at that point. But I asked her again, I said is there anything we can do to help you? Do you need anything? And she said 'No, I just need to sleep.'
She says the newborn baby girl weighed about four pounds and was just five-hours old. The woman, who Scheirbon says looked to be in poor health, said she delivered the child at home with the help of a doula. The tiny girl wasn't even wearing a diaper.
Scheirbon took the baby, asked a few medical questions, and it was all legal under the Idaho Safe Haven Act.
According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, 25 Safe Haven Act babies have been surrendered since the law took effect. New mothers have 30 days to do so.
The Safe Haven Law became law in July of 2001, so about 13 years ago, and it was passed basically, so that if you had a young mother who was scared, who had given birth to a baby and didn't know what to do, she could drop it off at a hospital, at a doctor's office, or even with ambulance personnel, said department spokesperson Tom Shanahan.
For Dr. Tristan Galloway, the law has become an unexpected part of his duties as a medical provider. He admits he had no knowledge of it beforehand, but says he's glad he does now.
My heart goes out to the mother that brought her child in, Galloway told KTVB. We don't know what she was going through, the anguish that she probably had, but she made an awesome decision, and we're just blessed to be here to facilitate the process, even though none of us had any training with regards to the situation.
Galloway says he's been following the baby girl's progress, and is happy to report she was adopted by a local couple the same day she was given up. The child is said to be in good health.