Ten Years For Baby-Dump Mom
A 29-year-old Woodside woman was sentenced last week to 10 years in prison for tossing her newborn daughter into a hospital trashcan.
Dawa Lama pleaded guilty to manslaughter in April and admitted to tossing the baby into a trash can in an Emergency Room bathroom at Elmhurst Hospital Center on May 10, 2011.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Lama went to the hospital seeking prenatal care and went to the bathroom after experiencing pain in her abdomen. She gave birth to the baby inside the hospital bathroom shortly before 2:50 p.m. and left the infant clinging to life in the trashcan.
Police tracked down Lama through hospital video surveillance and found her, sleeping at her apartment on 65th Street at about 5:20 p.m. Lama was charged with assault, reckless endangerment, child abandonment and endangering the welfare of a child.
A hospital spokesperson said an Emergency Room worker discovered the full-term baby moments after Lama left the hospital and immediately alerted medical personnel. The baby was stabilized and transferred to Long Island Jewish Hospital.
Lama’s boyfriend, Bishmu Gurung, 28, denied at the time any knowledge of the pregnancy, but assumed full responsibility for the baby after her birth and kept vigil at the LI Jewish Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where the baby was treated, authorities said.
The baby, who was named Mingmar Gurung, was kept on life support for one week before she died.
Under New York state law, new mothers may leave a baby within five days of its birth, at any city hospital, firehouse or police station with no questions asked and without fear of prosecution.
“A parent may anonymously surrender an unwanted newborn infant to personnel in a safe place, such as a hospital, a police station or a fire station, without repercussions,” Brown said.