Couple Buried Wrong Stillborn Baby in Tragic Hospital Mix-up
There’s nothing more traumatic for parents to find out that their baby is stillborn. Unfortunately, for a couple from Brooklyn, news got worse, as they were informed that the baby they grieved over and buried wasn’t their child.
Justyna Sliwa was 5-months pregnant, when a prenatal exam revealed that her baby didn’t have a heartbeat and would be stillborn. A week later, doctors induced delivery, and the grieving couple requested the body to be flown over to their native Poland.
On June 19, a funeral service was held for baby “Angel” in the town of Lomza, Poland. While the grieving mom could not make the flight due to her post-delivery injuries, she designed a monument for her little one which read in part, “Before you were ever here with us, before we got to meet you, you walked away to heaven.”
As the couple was still reeling from the tragedy, on July 6, they got a call from the Medical Examiner’s office that they were actually given the wrong baby. The couple would now need to exhume the incorrect baby’s body from Poland and return it to the United States.
“I just started crying,” the distraught mom said. “Words can’t express how I feel, to be honest. It’s devastating. Losing a child and then finding this out — it’s horrible.”
“This is a tragic, unfortunate error we have to make right,” explained Ellen Borakove from the medical examiner’s office. “The city will be taking all steps we can to make sure the correct baby is buried in the correct place.”
An investigation is currently taking place, although the office notes that “the babies involved have strikingly similar names.”
This is not the first time the examiner’s office has come under investigation, as there were four prior incidents when the office held onto the cadaver’s brain without the family’s consent.
“There have to be changes,” the Silwas’ family attorney Susan Karten said. “It’s a despicable situation.”