Everleigh Victoria McCarthy was born at just two pounds – three months before her due date – and passed away just 12 days later, having developed a brain bleed.
Devastated parents Alana Ross, 37, and Daniel McCarthy, 38, are said to have begun planning a memorial service for their daughter before learning about what happened to her body.
The family’s lawyer Greg Denning said the funeral home told Everleigh’s parents her remains appeared to have gone missing after not arriving from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, US.
Alana and Daniel contacted the hospital but struggled to get answers. Alana Ross and Daniel McCarthy are suing the hospital
Mr Denning said they then went to the police.
According to a police report obtained by the Daily Mail, hospital staff said they couldn’t find the baby’s body following her death on August 6, 2020.
Investigators then determined the remains were “probably mistaken as soiled linen” and thrown away.
Alana told The New York Times : “It’s like she died all over again.”
The mum had suffered two miscarriages prior to Everleigh’s birth.
On Thursday, the couple filed a lawsuit against the hospital at Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston. The hospital is accused of discarding Everleigh’s body with bed linen
Mr Henning said they had decided to sue because “it wasn’t going to be resolved any other way”.
“Alana and Daniel have been dealing with a lot of trauma and stress with this and we determined now is the appropriate time to file the suit,” he said.
However, they are not seeking any kind of monetary payout.
Hospital chief medical officer Sunil Eappen told the Mail: “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.”
The police report went on to say a hospital pathologist admitted to seeing linens on a stainless steel tray in the hospital morgue’s examination room.
He had disposed of them in a bag meant for soiled materials at the time.
It is understood linens are taken to a cleaning service, while a waste management firm sends hospital waste to landfill sites or they are incinerated.
After further investigation, Everleigh’s body was still not located.
It has been determined her remains were not put in the “proper area”, and that they should have been moved to the morgue cooler.
The hospital is conducting its own investigation.