A baby in Gabon has been returned to her family after being held for five months over an unpaid hospital bill. Angel was freed after the bill of roughly $3,630 was settled by a public campaign launched on the family’s behalf, the BBC reports.
The unpaid bill was for the 35 days she spent in an incubator after her premature birth in a private clinic north of Gabon’s capital, Libreville.
The case shocked the public and garnered widespread support for Angel’s family, including from Gabon’s President Ali Bongo, who reportedly contributed toward the bill.
Angel’s mother, Sonia Okome, told the BBC she was relieved to have her child back, but because of the separation she can no longer breastfeed. Okome also said the baby had not been given any vaccinations.
“I’m happy to have my baby back,” Okome said. “But I’m sorry that I can’t breastfeed her because after five months all my milk has gone.”
According to the BBC, the director of the clinic was arrested Monday on baby-kidnapping charges that were dropped a day later.
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