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Nutrition Gate :: Baby swap father describes his 20-year addiction to drugs

When Richard Cushworth watched his wife give birth to his first child in a Salvadoran hospital it must have seemed like his life had finally turned around completely.
The 41-year-old, by his own admission, had overcome a long addiction to drugs including heroin, cocaine, cannabis and alcohol, he had lost his possessions in a house fire in Dallas, and his wife, Mercy Casanellas, 39, had survived an attack in which she was shot at by five gunmen.
Together, they had overcome what life had thrown at them through a deep Christian faith and a commitment to working as missionaries, spreading the Gospel in her home country of El Salvador.
"He's such a great guy and he was so excited for himself and his wife having this baby," said Alfredo Navarro, a family friend.
But in the months that followed the May 21 birth of their son, who they called Jacob, the couple must have felt that God was setting them another test. They became convinced the child was not theirs.
Eventually, after a DNA test in the US proved it, they were re-united last week with their biological son, whom they called Moses.
According to friends it has been the couple's unshakable Christian faith that sustained them through the traumatic experience, particularly the agonising moment when they had to return Jacob to his natural parents.
The long road that brought them to the Hospital Centro Ginecologico in San Salvador, where the mix-up happened, began after Mr Cushworth decided to dedicate his life to preaching.
"I spent half my life, 20 years, in a severe drug addiction, heroin, cocaine, these demons had me completely bound," Mr Cushworth said in a video aimed at raising funds to build a rehabilitation centre in El Salvador.
"The Lord completely healed me and delivered me from drug addiction. I met my wife a Salvadoran gal, we got married and the Lord called me to this little nation of El Salvador."
Mr Cushworth, a British citizen who has spent most of his life in the United States, had clearly also fallen in love with the tiny Central American nation.
He added: 'What a beautiful country, tropical mountains right on the Pacific Ocean, it's really something else."
The couple married in 2012 after meeting while studying at the Christ for the Nations Institute, an evangelical organisation in Dallas, Texas which has trained tens of thousands of people from around the world to preach, and built thousands of churches.
While he was away doing missionary work in El Salvador a building where Mr Cushworth rented an apartment in Dallas reportedly burned down and he lost his belongings.
But that was nothing compared to the ordeal his wife had suffered not long before he met her.
Three weeks before arriving in Dallas to begin her religious studies she was nearly killed in a gun attack in Central America.
"A car started to chase our car. There were five men in the car and they wanted to rob us and steal our car," she said in a video explaining her commitment to her missionary work.
"The five men got our their guns and started to shoot. I was shot at from a distance of about 5ft but none of the bullets hit us. When I opened my eyes and saw that I started to declare the power that we have in the blood of Jesus, and we started to pray in the car. I was directly shot at eight times and none of them hit me.
"The driver flipped our car and I was underneath. The men came back, they wanted to kill us because we saw their faces, but they thought we were dead. "The Lord did many miracles. We are alive by the power of God."

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