A Boston Hospital Discarded Their Baby's Remains

Alana Ross and Daniel McCarthy are suing Brigham and Women’s Hospital
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2022 10:40 AM CDT
A Boston Hospital Discarded Their Baby's Remains
   (Getty Images/Oil_and_Milk)

A couple on Thursday sued Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and as the New York Times reports, they aren't after a specific amount of money, but rather want to make sure no one else experiences what they have: their child's body being discarded. Everleigh Victoria McCarthy was born to Alana Ross and Daniel McCarthy in July 2020—their first and only child. She arrived three months premature weighing 2 pounds, 5 ounces, reports the Boston Globe. The infant suffered bleeding on her brain and survived just 12 days; her mother held her as she was removed from a ventilator and died. Everleigh's body was dressed in a white satin gown—and then, as her parents would learn days later—was accidentally discarded.

That came to light when the funeral home tried to collect the infant's body. A police report indicates the swaddled remains were "probably mistaken as soiled linen" after a nurse erroneously put them on a stainless steel rack in the morgue cooler where adult bodies were stored; a pathologist then likely put the remains in a blue soiled linen bag. Police and waste company employees spent hours going through hundreds of pounds of soiled linens and medical waste at a Boston transfer station but did not find Everleigh's body. Per the suit, it's believed her remains ended up at a landfill or incinerator.

The hospital's chief medical officer couldn't comment on the specifics of the case due to the legal action, but voiced "our deepest sympathies and most sincere apologies to the Ross and McCarthy family for their loss and the heartbreaking circumstances surrounding it." The Times notes it's not an unprecedented tragedy, citing similar cases in 2009 and 2017; in the latter case, a stillborn baby's remains were ultimately found weeks later amid dirty linens that had been transported to a facility to be washed. (More hospital stories.)

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