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Parents Sue Hospital for Losing Their Prematurely Born Child’s Body | “It’s Like She Died All Over Again.”

Parents Sue Hospital for Losing Their Prematurely Born Child’s Body | “It’s Like She Died All Over Again.”

Everleigh McCarthy was just 12 days old. As per the police report, the child’s body “was probably mistaken as soiled linen” and discarded.

The parents of a baby who lived for 12 days are suing a hospital in Boston for losing their child's remains as the bereaved family was getting ready to bury her.

Alana Ross was at her home in Sharon, Massachusetts, just after midnight on July 23, 2020, when her water broke at 26 weeks pregnant. Ross raced to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston with her fiance, Daniel McCarthy, reports PEOPLE

Everleigh McCarthy was delivered through emergency cesarean section two days later on July 25, 2020, three months earlier than expected weighing a little over two pounds. After delivery, the infant experienced "medical complications" and was transferred right away to the neonatal intensive care unit, per NBC News. The couple cuddled Everleigh and Ross read her Little Red Riding Hood while the doctors treated her in the NICU after she had a brain bleed.



 

 

Twelve days later, on August 6, doctors predicted Everleigh wouldn't live. Everleigh's heart stopped when Ross was holding her in her arms. They had given her morphine and taken her off a ventilator. The couple decided to bury their child at the cemetery where Dan's grandmother was laid to rest.

On Monday, August 10, when a funeral home went to take Everleigh from the hospital morgue,The hospital couldn't locate her corpse.

It wasn't until then that anybody noticed she was gone. Dan received the startling call from an employee of the funeral home just a few hours after Everleigh was meant to be picked up.

Ross told The New York Times, "It's like she died all over again." 


 

 

Ross and McCarthy filed a lawsuit against the hospital and 14 employees on Thursday in Suffolk County Superior Court. They cited breach of contract, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and tortious interference with human remains, among other counts. According to the lawsuit, Everleigh was mistaken for dirty linen as a result of a number of errors made by nurses and other medical personnel.

Everleigh's remains were put on a metal rack by a staff member, which was described as "not the appropriate or designated place for the delivery of infant remains to the morgue." Police claimed that the pathologist most likely mistook Everleigh for dirty laundry based on interviews and security footage. Without realizing the baby was within the bundle, he tossed it into a container for dirty linen. 



 

 

According to the police report, the pathologist first admitted to detectives that no dirty linens were taken from the morgue the day after Everleigh was delivered there by two nurses. However, according to authorities, the pathologist later acknowledged spotting linen on one of the stainless steel trays in the morgue cooler and then throwing the linen away, perhaps believing it to be a "leftover blanket."

According to Boston Police, they spent hours on August 12 sifting through blood saturated clothes, excrement coated linens and other medical waste at a garbage transfer facility as part of their investigation. But they were unable to locate infant Everleigh. As per their report, the child’s body “was probably mistaken as soiled linen” and discarded.

Greg Henning, the couple's attorney, told PEOPLE, "They've been dealing with the trauma and grief of losing Everleigh twice. They feel the only way that people are held accountable is to file a lawsuit." According to their attorney, the couple wants to try again for children. He said, "They've been looking to have a family and become parents. They're still looking forward to having a family in the future."

References:

https://people.com/human-interest/parents-sue-boston-hospital-for-losing-their-babys-remains/

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/parents-sue-boston-hospital-losing-remains-premature-12-day-old-baby-rcna35257

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/23/us/boston-hospital-baby-body-lost.html?

Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Nenov