An Australian couple was devastated after a Sydney hospital accidentally sent their stillborn daughter to be cremated.
Anthony Meyers and Stella Pirko are looking for answers after their daughter had been sent to the funeral home for cremation before an autopsy was performed, the New York Post reported.
Pirko had to go through induced labor at 28 weeks after scans had shown her daughter had an enlarged bladder.
The couple was hoping that the hospital would perform an autopsy and genetic testing to find out why their daughter, Krystal Rose, had the condition.
Instead, Liverpool Hospital kept the baby’s body in the morgue for nine days before sending her to a funeral home for cremation.
“I came home. I was suffering. … I was a mother without a baby, and it was so hard,” Pirko told Nine News.
“It has impacted our lives in a dramatic and horrific way,” Pirko said.
The couple’s paperwork went missing, and no full-time technician was responsible for the hospital mortuary due to a lack of funding.
“We trusted them to do their jobs — to find out what happened to our baby. We cannot fathom how this happened,” she said.
She also wondered how their doctor, who handled the couple’s request for testing, approved of the cremation when he knew the follow-up testing had not been done.
The cremation also kept them from finding out why their daughter had an enlarged bladder and if they could expect more problems in the future.
New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it was the family’s undertaker, not the hospital, who carried out the cremation, the Daily Mail reported.
“It’s a terrible situation – I feel the greatest sympathy for the mum and dad but unfortunately all too often babies don’t reach full term,” he said. “There can’t be anything worse and I’ve offered to meet them and have a discussion about the issues they think were wrong.”
The hospital said it was an isolated case and that they are hoping to improve its processes for the future.
It also said it plans to hire a full-time mortuary technician.