A 23-year-old student in Australia has been inundated with messages of support and praise after taking in his homeless, pregnant cousin when she had no one else to turn to.
Tommy Connolly, an aspiring athlete at the University of the Sunshine Coast, said he hadn’t seen his 17-year-old cousin for more than a decade when he moved to resume his studies and decided to get in touch.
He found out that his cousin had been sleeping rough on the Gold Coast, was 32 weeks pregnant, had no shoes or phone and was almost illiterate.
With the baby’s father in jail and her parents not on the scene, Mr Connolly said he took his cousin in “to make sure she’d keep the baby, stay off the streets and have a better life”.
Writing on Facebook, he said: “This was her only option. She’s spent more time on the streets than anywhere else, and knows the police better than she knows her own family.
“She could write the book on traumatic experiences. Not many people know her story. It’s very intense. Nobody deserves the life she’s had.”
Tommy Connolly posted pictures and shared his story on Facebook, and said he was there in hospital to cut his cousin’s baby’s umbilical cord.
Between studies and his track athletics training, Mr Connolly worked selling fruit and vegetables to cover the cost of moving into a new home and preparing for the arrival of the baby.
Then, in mid-March, he posted a picture to his Facebook page showing both mother and baby healthy in hospital and said: “Well… I just filmed a birth and cut the umbilical cord!”