“A drug addicted baby’s cry is nothing like a cry you have ever heard from a normal baby. It is high pitched and inconsolable. This is how Coby sounded.”

Coby came into the world with the odds stacked against him after his mum used heroin throughout her pregnancy. Underweight and fragile, baby Coby was born drug addicted. As it was not safe for Coby to stay with his parents, he was removed from them immediately after birth and placed in Barnardos’ temporary care until a permanent decision could be made about his future.

One of our specially trained carers, Marie, looked after Coby straight from the hospital. Coby was 10/10 on the withdrawal scale and endured the worst symptoms possible. Marie will never forget how he suffered.

“To hear Coby cry knowing it wasn’t just a nappy change was heart wrenching. He was in pain. He had tremors which caused his little body to tremble all the time - even when he slept. His breathing was loud and distressed, not gentle and contented like a baby’s should be.”

For the first 10 weeks in Marie’s care, Coby could not sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time. She would spend all night trying to comfort him.

The team at Barnardos provided tailored support to Coby and his carer whilst he was withdrawing. Marie received special training and had a direct line to case workers any time she needed. 

After almost five months of intensive care, most of the muscle tension and tremors were gone. Coby began to sleep up to eight hours a night and looked bright and alert. He was laughing and smiling and taking in things around him. He’d put on weight and his features had started to fill out.

We do not know if Coby will have long term effects from his suffering as a baby. While he has a long way to go, we will continue to provide Coby with the support he needs with the gifts of our donors.

To provide Coby and other children like him with long term, individual and tailored support to give them the chance in life they deserve, please donate now.

* Please note: Names changed and models used to protect privacy.