A Statesville family relived the tragedy of losing their daughter when three months later the hospital sent them the bloody clothes she wore the day she died.
The clothes were in a regular plastic bag, not a biomedical bag, WBTV reported.
Leslie Rogers, 23, died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem on April 30 from a gunshot wound to the head.
A hospital worker called Michele and Mark Rogers last week to know if they wanted their daughter’s belongings, the Rogers family told the station. Mark Rogers asked what items they were, but the worker didn’t know because she wasn’t allowed to open the bag, he said.
The Rogerses gave their home address and later received a box.
The family had asked the hospital for her belongings the day she died, but the hospital said she hadn’t come in with anything, the report says.
“I opened it,” Michele Rogers told the station. “The smell floored me. I’ve never smelled nothing like that.”
She took the box outside and used gloves to continue opening it, the report said. Inside she found a bag with her daughter’s clothes stained with blood and tissue from the wound. Other small items like keys were also found in the bag.
In an emailed response to the News & Observer, an executive took responsibility for the mistake.
“I know I speak for all of us at Wake Forest Baptist when I say that we were saddened to learn that we had mistakenly returned soiled clothing in a package of belongings sent to the parents of a past patient,” said Kevin P. High, executive vice president of health systems affairs at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
“We deeply regret any concerns that this has caused and offer our sincere apologies to the family.”
He said it was common for the hospital to receive requests from family members of patients to return the items they were wearing, regardless of the condition.
“While we have a policy in place that directs how patient belongings should be handled, our teams are reviewing it to determine how we can improve the existing process that meets the variety of wishes from our patients’ families while ensuring a safe transition of personal belongings,” High said.
Camila Molina: 919-829-4538