Grieving mum sent to wrong baby's funeral
PUBLISHED: 17:51 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 09:36 23 August 2010
A WOMAN who gave birth to a stillborn baby and then was sent to the wrong funeral is planning to sue the hospital. Lisa Fenton, 39, of Bartlett Road, Gravesend had an induced miscarriage when she was 13 weeks pregnant at Darent Valley Hospital in Novembe
A WOMAN who gave birth to a stillborn baby and then was sent to the wrong funeral is planning to sue the hospital.
Lisa Fenton, 39, of Bartlett Road, Gravesend had an induced miscarriage when she was 13 weeks pregnant at Darent Valley Hospital in November 2005.
Before Christmas that year she went to her daughter Alicia Meg's funeral, but discovered four weeks later that her daughter had been cremated on a different day.
The mother-of-three has now told her solicitors to launch legal proceedings against Darent Valley Hospital for the blunder, and the alleged mishandling of her miscarriage.
She said: "I can't begin to describe my distress. The hospital chaplain rang me to ask if I was ok and whether I was stuck in traffic as I had not arrived for the service.
"I replied I was at home and asked what he meant. He then told me he meant the cremation service of my baby.
"I hoped what he said in his call was a mistake, but later that day I rang the hospital and they said they had made a mistake, given me the wrong date and I had attended the wrong funeral.
"To add insult to injury I was then told the delay had been caused by a pathology report on 'Amelia'. Not only did they get my daughters name wrong but I had earlier declined a pathology report being carried out."
In October 2005 she started feeling unwell during her pregnancy. Six weeks later she was losing blood and had stomach pains. A scan found that her baby had a one in two chance of Downs Syndrome and would not survive. Four days later she underwent an induced miscarriage.
Mrs Fenton added: "I was obviously heartbroken. Nothing can describe the way I felt, knowing my baby was going to be stillborn."
"Despite my pain I was determined to say a proper farewell to my little girl and took up the hospital's offer of a funeral service."
She went to the funeral at Eltham Crematorium on December 20, to lay a wreath with her mother. She added: "To think we grieved at the wrong funeral and never got to attend Alicia's funeral service is heart-wrenching.
"I feel the whole matter has been dealt with insensitively. The day after I discovered the funeral mix-up the hospital was still getting its facts wrong.
"The chaplain rang me to apologise and said he wanted to reassure me that he had prayed for "him" all day. They couldn't even get the sex right. I can't get over the fact I was not there for my baby's funeral and grieved at someone else's. I wouldn't wish that emotional suffering on anyone."
A spokesperson for Darent Valley Hospital said that Mrs Fenton was given the wrong date for the funeral service for her still born daughter.
He said: "The Trust has offered its sincere apologies to Mrs Fenton for this tragic error. We have since thoroughly reviewed our procedures and introduced new systems and checks to prevent this from happening again