A baby girl born in the street and then ‘dragged around by her umbilical cord’ by her homeless mother was saved by medical staff.
Doctors initially feared the child would not survive when she was found by paramedics last week to be breathing but still, silent and lifeless.
Her mother, a 41-year-old homeless woman named Ashley, was arrested and released on bail pending further investigation.
The street pictured above is where the woman reportedly gave birth and then dragged the baby by the umbilical cord in Hilo, Hawaii
The birth took place near the intersection between Keawe street and Mamo street
It is just the latest grueling update in America’s harrowing opioid crisis, with addicts also filmed giving birth on the streets of San Francisco and shooting-up in broad daylight in Philadelphia.
The Hawaii Police Department were called to the harrowing incident in Hilo at about 5.15pm on Tuesday, January 16.
Captain Rio Amon-Wilkins, from the police department, told Island News: ‘The initial call came in that she was actually walking on the side walk and dragging the baby.
‘Fire Department personnel showed up and ambulance initially, [but] the female was still connected to the baby by the umbilical cord.
‘So, they cut the umbilical cord and took the baby into the ambulance to provide medical attention and then transported the baby to the hospital.’
He added: ‘Thankfully, the baby was not really injured in this incident — which was initially reported.
‘She is in good condition by what we have been told by the doctors.’
Locals told the publication the homeless woman is known as Ashley and has been living rough in the area for at least a decade.
She is described as being sometimes calm and at other times erratic. The mother has also previously been hit by a car and regularly walks into moving traffic.
She re-appeared in the area on Thursday, but locals say that when they approached her she had ‘no recollection’ of having given birth.
There are no reports that the woman was a drug user.
‘Public view’ births — or those that happen in public — are rare but do happen on occasion according to experts.
In April last year, a homeless woman was also filmed giving birth on a sidewalk in San Francisco in the notorious Tenderloin district.
The clip showed her lying on her side with her pants pulled down while she attempted to cradle the newborn.
And in December last year, a homeless woman gave birth to a baby on a street in Honolulu before dumping the child in a trash can.
Street corners in many major American metropolises — including San Francisco and New York City — now appear to have become lawless areas completely taken over by homeless people.
It has been caused by addiction to substances, spurred by the over-prescription of opioids, alongside issues such as rental prices outpacing wage rises and a lack of social services to catch those most at risk.
Once on the streets, many are at risk of being exposed to illicit substances — including heroin, ecstasy and others — and becoming addicts.
America is currently in the grips of an opioid crisis, with an estimated 112,000 people having died from drug use alone in August 2023 — a record for that time of year.