His child died. Then a Greeley Tribune hospital lost the body.


Everleigh McCarthy was less than 2 weeks old when she died at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2020. Police said her remains were “probably misunderstood as dirty linen” and discarded.

Danielle McCarthy and Alana Ross. Susan Crater / The Greeley Tribune Globe

Everleigh Victoria McCarthy was born three months ago at Greeley Tribune’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and weighed a little over 2 pounds. Soon after her birth on July 25, 2020, she had a massive brain hemorrhage.

Still, her parents, Alana Ross and Daniel McCarthy, remained hopeful that they would be able to bring her home. They hold him, read “Little Red Riding Hood” to him and say they love him.

But on August 6, when Everly was less than 2 weeks old, doctors told the couple that she would not survive. The baby was taken off the ventilator, and Ross held him and watched the heart monitor flatline.

The nurses gently cleaned Everley’s body and dressed her in a white satin gown. His parents then began the unbearable task of planning a memorial service for their firstborn.

But when the funeral home tried to retrieve Everley’s body four days later, hospital staff said they could not find his remains, according to a police report.

Officers wrote in the report that Greeley Tribune police determined that the child’s body was “probably misunderstood as dirty linen” and discarded.

When the funeral home called the couple to inform them that the body of their child had been lost, a new wave of grief ran through them.

“Looks like she died again,” Ross said.

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Susan Crater / The Greeley Tribune Globe

On Thursday, Ross and McCarthy sued the hospital in Suffolk County Superior Court in Greeley Tribune. One of the couple’s lawyers, Greg Henning, said they are not seeking a specific monetary amount. The goal, the couple said, was to prevent the hospital from losing the body of someone else’s child.

“We don’t want anyone else to go through this,” said 37-year-old Ross. “We want the hospital to be held accountable. We want them to fix it.”

In a statement on Thursday, Dr. Sunil Eppen, Chief Medical Officer of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, expressed “our deepest sympathy and most sincere apologies for their loss to the Ross and McCarthy family and the heartbreaking circumstances surrounding it.”

“As is the case with any instance in which there is a concern related to our standard of care or practice,” he said, “we shared details easily and transparently with the patient’s family. We are always concerned with systems and human factors.” We both evaluate what contributes 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 matter.”

A lawyer for the hospital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Alana Ross and Danielle McCarthy. – Suzanne Crater / The Greeley Tribune Globe

The loss of a body, especially of a child, by a hospital sounds unimaginable, but it happens with some frequency. In 2017, A woman sues after a Minnesota hospital dumped her dead baby, whose remains were found two weeks later in a bag of dirty linens at the laundry facility. In 2009, Police search garbage dumps in Pennsylvania and New Jersey The family of a child who died 20 minutes after birth said the hospital had dumped the body by mistake.

“We don’t know the answer to how often this happens,” Henning said. “Many times the entities that are losing a baby or losing a body realize what a horrible kind of conduct it is.”

“And they want to settle the matter before it becomes a public issue,” he added.

In the Greeley Tribune case, relatives of Ross and McCarthy called the police a day after the couple were told that Everley’s remains were missing.

Detectives interviewed a hospital pathologist, who initially told them that only pathologists were allowed inside the examination room in the hospital morgue and that no dirty linens were removed the day after Everley’s body was brought there. Had gone.

But the pathologist later admitted that he had seen linens on a stainless steel tray and had thrown them in a bag, according to the police report.

Police learn that linens are taken to a cleaning service with an on-site compactor. A waste management company then sends any hospital waste to landfills in South Carolina and New Hampshire, or incinerate at another facility.

Officers and staff searched a waste center in Greeley Tribune’s Roxbury neighborhood twice, sifting through hospital gowns, blood-soaked clothing and rags, and dirty linens and towels for hours. According to the police report, they could not find the body.

The report said police determined Everley’s body was “not placed in the proper area where the dead children should have been placed in the cooler of the morgue.” According to the lawsuit, his remains were either shipped to one of the landfills or burned.

Police also noted that one of the nurses who brought Everley’s body to the morgue had not returned a phone call from the hospital, which was conducting its own investigation. The hospital also failed to provide detectives with a “full video” that showed the child’s body being brought to the morgue and hospital staff after it discovered his remains were missing.

Ross and McCarthy, who had planned to bury Everley in a family plot, said they were still in disbelief that their daughter’s body was gone.

“Accepting the fact that she was going to die was one thing,” McCarthy, 38, said. “I never thought I’d have to accept the fact that I had to go to bed every night not knowing where it was.”

Ross, a clinical medicine writer, and McCarthy, a general manager at a frozen pie company, met when they were in fifth grade. He grew up in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Greeley Tribune, where he played freeze tag and basketball during his leisure time.

They remained friends for years, but didn’t fall in love until they were in their 20s, as they had been bonded over a recent breakup.

“We knew what we didn’t want,” McCarthy said. “We saw a lot in each other that we wanted to.”

They moved in together in 2008. Ten years later, they decided to start a family.

The first two pregnancies ended in miscarriage, but they were optimistic when Ross became pregnant with Everley, which kicked off energetically.

But during the second trimester, Ross learned that her cervix was getting shorter, meaning she was at risk of giving birth early. She was partially put on bed rest, but on July 23, 2020, she felt her waters break and the couple reached out to the 180-year-old organization Brigham & Women, which calls itself “the most trusted name in women’s health.” Presents as

Left with Everley are all Ross and McCarthy photos, some mementos and a memory box put together by hospital nurses that contains the water that Everley’s grandmother, who is Catholic, used to baptize her in her final moments. .

The couple has gone for treatment. They are determined to have another child.

“We’re still trying to move on and eventually have a family,” McCarthy said. “Right now, we’re fighting it and telling Everley’s story because he’s not here to tell it.”

This article originally appeared in new York Times,

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