Baby’s remains ‘thrown away’ before parents could bury child, lawsuit says | News Today

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A premature baby was born in a Massachusetts hospital and died nearly two weeks later in her mother’s hands from medical complications.

As Alana Ross and Daniel McCarthy prepared to bury their daughter, Everleigh, who was born in Boston on July 25, 2020, they learned her remains had been ‘thrown away’ with morgue linen, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday, July 23. June. against Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The couple had been trying to start a family for two years.

Before learning that their daughter’s remains had been lost, a nurse had “promised and assured Daniel that Baby Everleigh’s body would be safe for several days in the morgue”, according to court documents.

When a hospital worker brought the body wrapped in sheets to the morgue, another said “you can put it anywhere,” the lawsuit says. As a result, Everleigh’s remains were placed on a metal rack, which “was not the proper or designated location for the delivery of infant remains to the morgue”, and she was mistaken for soiled linen, according to the trial.

Everleigh’s body was not found on Friday, June 24, an attorney representing the couple, Gregory D. Henning, told McClatchy News.

The lawsuit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, named 14 hospital workers and said Brigham and Women’s Hospital was aware of “problematic conditions” at the morgue and failed to realize that the remains of the baby had been missing for days and did not protect them.

Dr. Sunil Eappen, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said in a statement provided to McClatchy News that “we continue to express our deepest condolences and deepest apologies to the Ross and McCarthy family for their loss and the circumstances heartbreaking things that surround it”.

“As in all cases where a concern is raised about our standard of care or practice, we have easily and transparently shared the details with the patient’s family. We always assess systemic and human factors that contribute to errors or potential issues raised by patients, family members or staff and take action.

Meanwhile, the lawsuit also said the hospital ‘refused’ to cooperate with a law enforcement investigation into the disappearance of the baby’s remains.

“Parents have been dealing with grief and anguish over losing Everleigh since August 2020,” Henning told McClatchy News.

In this photo provided, Alana Ross, left, and Daniel McCarthy, right.

Birth of Everleigh

In June 2018, Ross and McCarthy, who have been dating for several years and have known each other since they were children, decided to start a family together, according to the lawsuit. Before Everleigh was born, they had two “heartbreaking” miscarriages.

On Valentine’s Day in 2020, Ross discovered she was pregnant again and sought treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, according to court documents. After overcoming several health and pregnancy hurdles, Everleigh was born prematurely with complications in July 2020 and was rushed to the newborn intensive care unit.

About five days later, Ross and McCarthy held Everleigh for the first time and read children’s books, according to the lawsuit.

Eventually, doctors told them that treatment options for their baby’s medical complications were “exhausted,” the lawsuit says. Then Everleigh was baptized shortly before her death on August 6, 2020.

After her death, “nurses recovered Baby Everleigh’s keepsake box, which contained photos, collages and keepsakes, such as her baptismal water,” and the parents “were allowed to bid farewell,” according to the court case.

On August 10, representatives from the funeral home arrived at the hospital to collect Everleigh’s remains, but the facility never found them, according to her parents.

The search for Everleigh’s body

The lawsuit points out that although the hospital records the comings and goings of patients through an electronic wristband scanning system, there were no “procedures in place at (the hospital) to digitally record the delivery of remains. infants in the morgue”. Instead, a hand-written “morgue logbook” was used.

On August 11, 2020, the Boston Police Department was contacted about Everleigh’s remains and opened an investigation, according to the lawsuit.

The following day, officers ‘spent eight hours … rummaging through blood-soaked clothing, laundry-covered feces and other medical waste at a transfer station looking for Baby Everleigh’ to no avail, according to court documents. .

During the investigation, Boston police said their detectives received incomplete video footage from the hospital from when the baby’s remains were placed in the morgue until it was learned that the body had been lost, according to a police report.

The lawsuit said the hospital “provided false answers to police questions.”

In Eappen’s statement, he declined to “comment specifically on this matter” due to ongoing litigation.

Henning told McClatchy News that Ross and McCarthy filed their lawsuit because “they want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else” and “no other family has to go through the same thing.” grief and the same trauma they suffered and continue to suffer.” each day.”

They want to “find out what happened” and “find out how it could have happened”.

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