MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With a head of dark hair and bright eyes, baby Cody is the spitting image of his older brother. But the happiness that should be filling an Apple Valley family’s home is instead tempered by what happened before he even got there.

Cody’s mother, Tammy, says she will never get over it.

“Yesterday was supposed to be the happiest day, so I tried to make it happy,” she said.

Tammy, who does not want her last name used, is incensed and outraged over what she calls a big mistake inside the Abbott Northwestern hospital nursery.

On Wednesday, two days after she had given birth to Cody, the baby was mistakenly given to a different mother for an early morning breastfeeding. Tammy was asleep at the time and unaware of the mix-up until hours later.

She says the other mother who had given birth to twins noticed something wrong with the baby and notified nursery staff.

“Then she called the nurse and got my son from her, and then her son was missing for 20 minutes – he was in my son’s bassinet,” Tammy said.

Abbott acknowledges the mix-up and is covering the costs of all blood testing to insure Cody hasn’t contracted HIV, Hepatitis or other infections.

“I’m just glad he’s OK,” Tammy said. “And that the mother tested OK.”

Hospital policy requires nurses to match ankle and wrist bracelets between mother and child, to prevent this kind of accident.

On Thursday, the hospitals parent company, Allina Hospitals and Clinics, issued a written statement apologizing to the families and saying procedures were not followed.

Dr. Penny Wheeler is a practicing obstetrician and chief clinical officer of Allina Health, which owns Abbott Northwestern.

He wrote: “on behalf of Abbott Northwestern, I am very sorry this incident occurred. Providing the best possible patient experience and care quality is our foremost concern and this incident should not have occurred. As an obstetrician, I have personally seen verification of the infant’s identifying name band matched correctly with the mother’s on hundreds of occasions. It is extremely unfortunate that was not the case this time. We sincerely apologize to the involved families and will make certain we understand why our procedures were not appropriately followed in this case.”

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