An baby boy who was dumped in a hospital trash can by his mother last year is now a happy and healthy toddler being cared for by his doting father.
One-year-old Matthew James Addison was left for dead in a restroom trash can at the John Colloton Pavillion of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City by his 24-year-old mother Ashley Hautzenrader on May 8, 2016.
She did not know she was pregnant until she gave birth to him and claims to have thought he was dead after delivering him in secret.
Ashley was spared jail this week and given a five-year probation sentence for abandoning the boy.
Before she was sentenced, Matthew’s father Brandon Addison identified himself online.
One-year-old Matthew James Addison is now being cared for by his father Brandon. Matthew was dumped in a trash can minutes after being born in secret in a hospital restroom in 2016
He is now not only looking after Matthew but is also the primary carer for he and Hautzenrader’s little girl Ahnna who was being treated in the hospital for a heart condition when her little brother was born in the toilet.
The boy’s mother Ashley Hautzenrader, 24, is serving five years probation for abandoning him
Revealing his identity on a GoFundMe page, Brandon, 27, said: ‘I wanted finally introduce myself and my children.
‘My name is Brandon and I am the father of the baby boy who was left for dead by his Biological mother in a trash can at the University of Iowa Hospital. He has been in my care since the incident as well as my daughter Ahnna.’
He later added that Matthew is a ‘very healthy little man despite his traumatic entry to life’.
Brandon and Ashley are no longer together but they were still a couple when she gave birth to Matthew in 2016.
Then 22, the young mother was at the hospital because their first child, Ahnna, had been admitted to intensive care.
Ahnna, who is now two, underwent a heart transplant when she was three-months-old and has since needed round-the-clock care.
Ashley gave birth in the restrooms and claims that this was the first she knew of the pregnancy.
Matthew (above with his older sister Ahnna) is a ‘happy and healthy’ toddler, his father said
Brandon is now caring for both children. He did not know Ashley was pregnant when she gave birth to Matthew in secret
Matthew is seen above celebrating his first birthday. He has been identified for the first time since his mother’s sentencing
When he did not scream or make any noise after being delivered, she thought her son was dead and tried to flush him down the toilet. When that didn’t work, she wrapped him in a pillow case and put him in a trash can.
After cleaning up the bathroom, Ashley left and returned to her family, saying nothing about what had just happened.
A hospital worker discovered Matthew shortly afterwards. It is not clear how they came to link the young mother to the nameless newborn but police were notified and Ashley was arrested for child abandonment.
A day later, Brandon was contacted by authorities. He took both of the children in to his care and has been raising them ever since.
During her trial, the identities of both of her children and their father were concealed.
Ashley was in the hospital with their older child Ahnna (right when she was a baby) who was born with a heart condition when she gave birth to Matthew unexpectedly
A previously used image before Ahnna was identified by her father shows her in hospital as a baby with her mother
She delivered Matthew herself in the restrooms at the UIHC hospital (above) and then tried to flush him down the toilet
Brandon (above with his daughter) was still in a relationship with the children’s mother when Matthew was born. He no longer is and is now fighting her for custody of them
On September 5, she was spared jail after pleading with a court to believe her side of the story.
‘Try to understand what I’ve been through,’ she said.
Brandon said ‘no one’ should have to go through what his son did
Speaking to DailyMail.com on Thursday, Brandon said he no longer had feelings towards the woman.
‘She is nothing more then the biological mother of my children.
‘I honestly don’t know why she did what she did, and I don’t think I’ll ever learn the truth behind why. She may very well have PTSD but regardless that is no reason to leave her child in a trash can.’
He said he was ‘disappointed’ with the judge’s decision to spare her jail, a decision he believes ‘sends a message’ to other struggling parents.
‘To other parents out there, your only job as a parent is to make sure your kids are always safe and protected, if you are unable to do that task to contact DHS or local hospitals and learn about safe havens or adoptions.
‘No child should ever go through what my son had to,’ he said.
Brandon has been forced to stop his job as a furniture delivery driver. He is asking for donations on his GoFundMe page to help pay for a new home and furniture.
He and Ashley are now battling over custody of the children in juvenile court.