Friday, August 19, 2022

Parents Sue Boston Hospital After Premature Baby Discarded ‘Like Trash’

premature baby trashed
Alana Ross and her partner, Dan McCarthy

*A Boston couple is speaking out about one hospital’s macabre practice of discarding premature babies like they are trash. 

Alana Ross and her partner, Dan McCarthy, have endured several miscarriages but when she became pregnant with her miracle baby that she named Everleigh, the couple thought they were finally about to start a family, WCVB reports. 

“I just wanted to enjoy showing them the world and being there when they experience the world for the first time,” Ross said in an interview. “I want to see it through their eyes. So I was really, really excited to start this next part of my life.”

Everleigh was born prematurely on July 25, 2020, weighing just 2 pounds and 5 ounces. She died 12 days later in Brigham and Women’s neonatal intensive care unit.

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premature baby
Alana Ross

“They let me hold her while she died, while I was holding her. She was baptized. And then when she was gone, they took her from us, but kept her in the room and dressed her in a white gown and let us say goodbye one more time as we walked out of the room. That was the last time we saw her,” Ross said.

The couple was assured that their baby’s body would be safe in the hospital’s morgue while they made burial arrangements. Four days after Everleigh’s death, the funeral home went to pick up her body but the hospital could not find her remains.

“I thought it was some technical error. Surely she’s just somewhere else in the hospital or at the worst, she’s at another funeral home by accident, and they would just go and retrieve her,” Ross said.

The family ultimately took up the matter with the police, and per the report, here’s what investigators believe happened:

Three employees brought Everleigh’s body, swaddled in hospital linens, to the hospital’s morgue. Inside the morgue cooler, another hospital employee was in the way of the racks meant to hold the bodies of children. That’s where Everleigh’s remains should have gone. According to the lawsuit, the employee inside the cooler told the others, according to the lawsuit: “You can put it anywhere,” so they left Everleigh’s remains on the racks meant for adults. Police believe the following day, another person working in the morgue threw her body away with soiled linens, not realizing there were human remains in the misplaced bundle.

“Being thrown away like trash when so many people loved her. It just rips my heart out of my chest because so many people were so happy that she was part of the family,” Ross said. “It was just so heartbreaking. We would never get to bury her and them. We wouldn’t even get to know where she ended up.”

For two days, the police reportedly attempted to retrace the route of the soiled hospital linen but came up short. 

“I would like to thank them. They did exactly what I would have done for hours relentlessly. And I am eternally grateful for them trying,” Ross said.

“It should also be noted that detectives were not provided the complete video from the time ‘Baby Ross’ arrived at the morgue cooler to the time it was observed that ‘Baby Ross’ was known to be missing,” Boston police wrote in their report. 

Ross and McCarthy are taking legal action against Mass General Brigham, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and 14 individual employees involved with the case, per the report. 

In a statement, Dr. Sunil Eappen, chief medical officer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital said: “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. 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.”

Ross said: “I want to know what happened. I want them to be held accountable. I just I don’t want anybody else to have to go through this pain.”

“Every night I go to bed and I don’t know where she is. And that’s a terrible feeling. I know I have to live with that for the rest of my life,” McCarthy said.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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