Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is facing a lawsuit after allegedly losing the remains of a premature baby that had passed away.
The hospital claims that the baby was likely thrown away with soiled linens and medical waste by mistake, while her family was planning the funeral.
Alana Ross and Daniel McCarthy had a baby that they named Everleigh on July 25, 2020 — though she was very premature and suffered medical issues that landed her in the newborn intensive care unit.
It was not until August 1 that the new parents were allowed to hold their baby, but they were informed that the hospital had exhausted their medical treatments and Everleigh passed away just a few days later.
According to a report from Boston 25, the lawsuit explains that an unnamed hospital staffer informed the couple that Everleigh’s body would “safely be transported to the morgue” while they prepared the funeral arrangements. When the nurse brought the body to the morgue, they were reportedly told to “put it anywhere.”
However, when workers from the funeral home arrived to pick up the baby’s body — it was gone.
“The hospital also allegedly failed to electronically document her remains, which were said to be left on a metal rack designated for adults,” the report explains. “The documents further stated that Everleigh’s remains were likely thrown away with ‘soiled linens’ from the morgue.”
The sketchy story does not end there.
When notified about the missing body, the Boston Police Department sprung into action and found out where the medical waste was transported to.
While attempting to find Everleigh, the officers spent many hours “digging through blood-soaked clothing, feces-covered linens, and other medical waste,” but she was no where to be found, according to the police.
Boston 25 reported, “when asked how likely it was that he threw away the baby in a soiled linen container, a worker told investigators that it ‘seems like the likely scenario’ and that ‘mistakes of other people who have access to the morgue set off a chain of events that were unavoidable.’”
The hospital provided the following comment to the local station:
“We continue to express our deepest sympathies and most sincere apologies to the Ross and McCarthy family for their loss and the heartbreaking circumstances surrounding it,” said Sunil Eappen, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“As with any instance in which there is a concern raised related to our standard of care or practice, we readily and transparently shared the details with the patient’s family. We always evaluate both system and human factors that contribute to errors or potential issues raised by patients, family members or staff and take action. Due to pending litigation, we are unable to comment specifically on this case,” said Dr. Eappen.
Everleigh is still missing to this day.