We all assume that the urban legend of being switched at birth is just an irrational fear, but it turns out that it has a possibility of happening. And one nurse who worked the maternity ward at The University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Zambia, is claiming to have switched more than 5,000 babies during her career.
Elizabeth Mwewa, the nurse in question, received a fatal cancer diagnosis, which prompted her confession.
“I have terminal cancer and I know I will be dying soon—I wish to confess my sins before God and before all the affected people especially those who were giving birth at UTH during my service,” she said. “I have found God, I am now born again. I have nothing to hide. In the 12 years I worked in the maternity ward at UTH, I swapped close to 5,000 babies.”
The worst part is, Mwewa admits that she actually found it fun to swap around babies, and that was the reason that she continued to do it for so many years.
While she knows what she did was wrong, her remorse does nothing to fix the fact that there could possibly be thousands of children who’s parents aren’t their biological parents.
Mwewa says, “If you were born in UTH between the years 1983 to 1995 chances are your parents may not be your biological parents. So take a good look at your siblings, if for example everyone is light and you are darkie… you are that child and I am really sorry for that.”
While it is still not clear if this is indeed the truth or not, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for those born at UTH during those years to go for a DNA test. In fact, Mwewa has claimed that in the past, her switching of babies has caused some couple to get divorced because children’s paternity was called into question.
Mwewa also has raised the fact that she has “caused many mothers to breastfeed children who are not theirs biologically.” Besides the fact that it’s already so hard to imagine thousands of kids being raised by complete strangers, it’s also very sad to think of the harsh reality – some of these switched babies probably ended up in broken or abusive homes, all because one nurse thought it’d be a fun prank to mess with families and people’s futures.
“I know I sinned against God and may he forgive me for that. I am also asking Zambians to forgive me for the evil things I was doing to innocent children,” Mwewa says. “It’s now that I have realized I was just being used by a demon to do that. I don’t want to go to Hell. [I am] really sorry I have sinned a lot. Please forgive me.”
If Mwewa is indeed telling the truth, then that is one large and extensive sin. God might forgive her, but I doubt any of the families that she’s hurt will.
How is it possible that any one person could’ve swapped as many babies as Mwewa purportedly claimed she did? In order to have switched 5,000 babies between 1983 and 1995, Mwewa would’ve had to do so at a rate of about one infant, every day, for 13 years. Either way, if she is telling the truth this is a scary thought.
What do you think of Mwewa’s confession? Did you ever think it was possible for someone like a nurse to switch babies like this? What would you do if you found out that you were switched at birth?