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Mom Fights To Have Baby's Coffin Exhumed - Paralyzed When She Sees What's Waiting Inside

After 40 years of fighting the legal system to have her infant son's remains exhumed, one woman thought that her long and arduous journey had come to an end when a judge finally granted her request. The mom hoped that the exhumation would prove that the hospital illegally harvested her son's organs and tissue. When the coffin was open, though, it didn't bring any closure for the mom. The infant's remains were not inside - she had buried an empty box in 1975.

Lydia Reid, a 68-year-old woman from Scotland, was devastated when her infant son Gary died. Born in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, the infant was only 7 days old when he passed away. They held a funeral for the baby boy, but the mother had always harbored some suspicions that something was wrong.

“The coffin was light. I knew the weight of a baby. My son was not there. Again, nobody believed me,” Reid said in an interview with the BBC.

For 42 years, Reid fought in court to have Gary's body exhumed so it could be checked. Reid came to suspect that the hospital had harvested her son's dead body for tissue without her permission. It turned out to be even worse than that: they took the whole body.

When the coffin was cracked open, the professor who oversaw the exhumation lifted the veil and found no human remains underneath. She did find the baby's shawl, hat, cross and name plate. The baby's name was spelled incorrectly on the name plate.

“Ultimately there is only one possible logical explanation and that is that the body was not put in that coffin,” said Professor Dame Susan Black, the professor who was going to examine the remains.

“I wanted to be wrong," said the heartbroken mother. "I wanted to be called a stupid old woman. But the minute Sue lifted the shawl out of the ground, I knew there was nothing in it. Nothing."

“My heart hit my feet. I didn’t know what to say," she added.

Some 6,000 organs and tissue samples were collected in Scottish hospitals from children between 1970 and 2000, without permission from families. Reid believed Gary was among the victims, and tirelessly fought for justice for her son.

The only consolation for Reid is that there are some traces of DNA from Gary's body left behind. Professor Black is testing the DNA. Reid will have to continue her fight to find out if any pieces of her son have remained behind in the hospital. She's hoping that there will be something there, some leftover organ or tissue, so that she can finally give her baby a proper burial.

“Even if he is lying in a jar in a hospital somewhere, I want to know. If it is possible to get my son back, I want to.”

It’s been a long and hard battle for Mrs. Reid already, and it’s still not over. Hopefully, DNA will help her get some justice for Gary so the little one can finally rest in peace.

Source: The Sun, Independent
Photo: BBC

Unfortunately, she was right.

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