CHARLESTON, W.V. — Two families are upset after workers at a hospital in West Virginia mixed up two newborn babies.
Dawson Perry’s parents thought he was the spitting image of his dad.
“He’s got my fingers, toes, nose,” Dawson’s dad, Arnold Perry Jr., said. “He’s got all my features. He’s a handsome boy, I tell ya.”
But when Dawson’s grandmother and aunt came to visit him at the hospital two days after he was born, they didn’t see the resemblance.
“They’re over there saying how he doesn’t have none of my features, and his eyes are blue when they were brown yesterday,” the new dad said. “So we’re like, ‘Aww, man, he looks like me. I can’t believe you don’t think he looks like me.'”
While in the arms of his relatives, Dawson’s father said he and his wife never really got a good look at their baby.
“Well I open up the drawer because I’m gonna feed him. I’m thinking he’s hungry, so I open it and see all kinds of onesies and things that ain’t mine,” he said.
After several minutes of confusion, Perry said a nurse walked in the room with his baby. The baby they’d spent the morning with wasn’t Dawson Perry, but Colton Perry, born just one day after.
“When I went in the nursery, he wasn’t in there,” said Heather Perry, Colton’s mom. “They come back and checked the number on my bracelet, checked his number. It was the wrong number. They said they may have had a number screw-up.”
That’s when Heather Perry was told Colton had been spending time with the wrong family.
She was under the impression the visit had only lasted about 30 minutes — not the nearly 2 hours Arnold Perry remembers.
“So everybody’s job hit the floor, people’s crying, people’s mad, just all kinds of mixed emotions, and it was just one terrible accident that could’ve been a tragedy,” Arnold Perry said.
“I didn’t know he was in there long enough and to hold, take pictures, videos and everything else,” Heather Perry said. “And when they brought him back, they had marked out my room number on his card and put theirs.”
Both parents agree the mistake of failing to check each baby’s number is unacceptable, but they’re relieved the result wasn’t worse.
“He’s OK,” Heather Perry said. “I got them back. I know it’s mine. It’s still scary situation. It could happen easily.”
“One little sharpie marker incident that she done, I could have lost my kid to another family,” Arnold Perry said. “Scratching one number over another number, that little mistake could have been a big tragedy.”
Both babies are now at home with their real families. The hospital said it can’t comment due to patient privacy.