Baby girl held in clinic for months over unpaid medical bills

The mother owed $4783 to the private clinic.
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A baby girl kept in a private clinic in Gabon, Africa, for five months because of her mother’s unpaid medical bills has finally been brought home.

The infant, named Angel, was born prematurely and spent 35 days in an incubator at the clinic. Her mother, Sonia Okome, says Angel was withheld from her care when she could not afford to pay the 2 million CFA ($4783 AUD) medical bills that she owed, the BBC reports.

But this week, the little girl was finally released after the case made national headlines and money was raised on the family’s behalf. Even Gabon’s President, Ali Bongo, provided funds.

As Nine News reports, the clinic’s director was arrested on Monday on kidnapping charges, which were later dropped. 

And while Angel is finally home, Ms Okome says the reunion was bittersweet.  

“I’m happy to have my baby back. But I’m sorry that I can’t breastfeed her because after five months all my milk has gone,” she told the BBC.

This article originally appeared on Marie Claire.

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