Douglas Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, was charged with misdemeanor child endangerment for taking his day-old newborn daughter from the maternity ward at Northern Westchester Hospital. He claimed he was “taking her out for some fresh air”.
What did the maternity ward nurses do in response to Kennedy’s attempt? Nothing short of heroic action. They tried to stop him and confronted him at the elevator, and allegedly one was kicked in the groin and the other was grabbed, pushed, and had her arm twisted. Two female nurses fighting a man at the elevator to thwart an apparent kidnapping. And they stopped him.
Of course the Kennedy public relations machine has jumped into action, condemning the “aggressive” action of the nurses and calling any charges against their client “absurd”. They are attempting to vilify the nurses, to make them look extreme and ridiculous, and one can only hope they fail miserably and that Douglas Kennedy be revealed as the villain in this case. Doubly so, in fact, not only for his actions, but then allowing these nurses to be publicly attacked by his surrogates.
It so happens my wife and I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl 12 months ago in this same hospital, as did my sister just a few years ago. We know the maternity ward well, and we know the nurses. They are the most competent, attentive, knowledgeable, committed professionals one could have the good fortune to encounter in one’s life. From pre-natal training, to delivery, to lactation consulting, they were simply awesome. The day we left the hospital with our daughter my wife and I commented to each other how we couldn’t recall ever, in any profession, such competence and skill.
But, one may argue, they aren’t perfect, and maybe they made a mistake in this case. I would argue the opposite, and no matter what scenario I concoct for what went down in this case, the conclusion comes out “Kennedy villain, nurses heroes”.
If you’ve been in a maternity ward any time in the last 10 years you’ll know that security is very tight. After a spate of baby stealing, hospitals have taken precautions to ensure no one can steal someone’s baby. (On a side note, just imagine the devastation of such a thing happening to a new mother just a day after delivering their baby). When we were there we weren’t allowed in the nursery and there were multiple secure doors to get in and out. This was just the way I wanted it, and I knew our daughter was safe and sound in that nursery.
Let’s imagine for a minute that these two nurses did not know that Kennedy was the father of the little girl. They see a man taking a baby towards the elevator, swaddled in blankets, and ask him to stop. He says he is “taking the baby out for some fresh air”. Huh? A newborn baby in February needs to go out for fresh air? They attempt to stop him, but he continues. At great risk to themselves, they try to physically stop the strange man from what they very logically think is a kidnapping of a newborn baby.
Let’s be generous to Kennedy for a minute and assume the nurses knew he was the father of the baby. He tells them he’s taking the baby out for fresh air, and they know this is not good for the baby and is in fact dangerous for her. They ask him to stop and he won’t. The man is clearly violating the rules, he is taking an irrational action, and the nurses intercede to stop him from doing so. In the best case Kennedy is just being dumb, in the worst case there is a domestic/marital situation which is playing out in the hospital and Kennedy could be kidnapping the baby. So they rightly stop him.
His action was thwarted by the brave actions of these nurses, and one can only hope that rather than being punished these nurses are hailed as the brave heroes they are.
We thought the nurses at Northern Westchester maternity ward were great at delivering babies. We now know they are also brave people who are not to be trifled with when it comes to a baby’s security. Shame on Douglas Kennedy, and kudos to those nurses!
—————— Editor’s Note Below—-
If you’d like to write to Northern Westchester Hospital maternity ward, the address is below:
Northern Westchester Hospital Center, 400 East Main Street, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549