Despite the woman’s protests to the contrary, it was apparent to EMT Carrie Compton that the patient they were transporting by ambulance from the jail to a local hospital was, in fact, in the throes of childbirth. The woman was mentally ill, addicted to methamphetamine, and had been incarcerated for several months. At the hospital, between birth pains, the woman continued to deny her pregnancy. Even after little Lucas was born, she denied the baby was hers.
Lucas was born without a pulse or heartbeat but luckily the medical team was able to save him. He was full-term and healthy, and therapists have since found no apparent developmental delays.
Carrie, the EMT who was present when he was born, is also a CASA volunteer. Realizing that the infant would soon be a ward of the court, she contacted the CASA office the next day and asked to be assigned to his case as soon as the paperwork went through.
“It is rewarding to think that I am looking out only for the interests of the child. It is not a job. I am a volunteer, so I am there for all the right reasons. I can speak my mind freely in court, and the judges and parties listen.”
— Carrie Compton, CASA Volunteer
Lucas needed just a few days in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital. He was then welcomed into a loving foster family who wanted to adopt him. As Lucas’s CASA, Carrie continues to advocate for him at all court hearings and provides support to his foster parents as needed.
When CASA says that their volunteers serve children from birth to age 18, it is not stretching the truth. In this case, Lucas’s CASA was actually present at his birth.
“After seeing what I saw, I knew I had to be a part of it,” recalls Carrie. “It pulled on my heartstrings. A kid born into a situation like that, full of life and vigor, is meant to have a purpose. He is happy. He loves his foster brother and his foster parents. He is adored by all of them. It could not be a more perfect outcome.”