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  1. ITV Report

British father appeals to find baby son after claiming doctor swapped him in hospital

A British father is appealing for help to find his baby son after raising fears the child could have been swapped and sold to human traffickers.

Richard Cushworth, 41, and his wife Mercedes Casanellas, 39, claim a doctor at a hospital in El Salvador exchanged their child for another as she slept.

The plea comes three months after the couple left the private hospital with a newborn they thought to be their son. A DNA test later revealed the boy was unlikely to be their biological child.

Mr Cushworth, who comes from Bradford lives in the Dallas, Texas, said in an appeal on local TV: "God has given us this child and somehow, somebody has taken him from us, and we want him back. It's a horrible situation for me, for her [his wife] for my family, her family.

The hospital where the baby was allegedly swapped. Credit: APTV/Channel 9

"A child is an experience you have for a lifetime. They give you grandchildren, I mean this is a life-long injury that's very, very deep, and it's horrible."

Francisco Meneses, the family's lawyer, said: "We don't have anything against the people who were involved during the (baby's) birth, but we want all these people to put their hands on their hearts because from the doctor who performed the surgery, the pediatrician, anesthesiologist, and the two nurses who were in the delivery room, it's very important for them to tell us what happened. Also, the people who received the child in nursery."

Local media report that an investigation has been launched after Casanellas filed a lawsuit against Reyes Guidos, the obstetrician that delivered the baby.

Ms Casanellas pulls a sheet from the head of the doctor accused of swapping her child. Credit: APTV/Channel 9

Ms Casanellas was pictured approaching the doctor as he came out of a court hearing, shouting in Spanish: "Where is my son, doctor? Where is my son?"

A spokesperson for El Salvador's society of gynaecology and obstetrics said it was not possible that the doctor could be guilty of the crime he had been accused of.

"When an obstetrician performs a normal or C-section childbirth, the newborn is immediately given to the neonatologist-pediatrician and the nurses in the (delivery) room," she said.