Family: Hospital sent package with dead daughter's bloody clothe - | WBTV Charlotte

Family: Hospital sent package with dead daughter's bloody clothes

STATESVILLE, NC (WBTV) -

A Statesville family is taking issue with the way Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center handled their deceased daughter's personal items.

Relatives say on April 30th, Leslie Rogers was rushed to the hospital in Winston Salem with a gunshot wound to the head. She died later that day.

"I was there the whole day," Leslie's mother, Michele Rogers says. "I specifically asked – did she have anything? and they said she had not come in with nothing. Of course we knew they would throw those clothes away. They were cut off of her."

Last week - three months after their daughter's death - the Rogers family received a phone call from a hospital worker who wanted to know if the family wanted their daughter's belongings.

"I asked them what they were," says Leslie's father, Mark Rogers. "They replied they don't know. They asked me for an address that they can ship them to so I gave them my address. We received a box."

Mr. Rogers says he was at work when the package arrived and his wife opened it.

"I opened it. The smell floored me," Mrs Rogers said. "I’ve never smelled nothing like that."

She says she immediately took the box outside, went back inside to get gloves before opening the box.

Her daughter's clothes - stained with blood and tissue from the bullet wound - were inside a regular plastic bag - not a biomedical bag. They say some other small items such as keys were also inside.

"I don’t understand. It was like a prank had been pulled," Mrs Rogers told WBTV. "Why would somebody send that to a parent so long after losing their child?"

"My wife calls me and starts crying," he said. "They shipped me the bloody clothes from my daughter that they cut off of in the emergency room."

Mr. Rogers says he doesn't understand why hospital staff did that. He wants to know if it's standard procedure.

"I’m angry because no parent should ever receive their kids bloody clothes that they died in," he said. "We’re still grieving over our child and it was a surprise to get a box that had her bloody clothes cut off her body."

"I just want to know if this is normal to ship a grieving family the clothes that their daughter got killed in," Mr Rogers told WBTV. "I think it was untasteful and wrong."

The parents say they contacted the hospital but have yet to get an answer.

"If anything policy should be changed, something should be done to where they know what they’re sending people, that they can make aware what’s been sent and the manner that they’re sending it in," Mrs Rogers said. "Nobody should have to go through that. No one."

WBTV contacted Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and received the following statement Tuesday from Kevin P. High, M.D. - Executive Vice President, Health System Affairs.

"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. We deeply regret any concerns that this has caused and offer our sincere apologies to the family.

“It is always our wish to be sensitive to the needs of our patients’ families. We sometimes receive requests from family members to return the items that a loved one was wearing when they are brought to the Medical Center, or that might have sentimental value, regardless of their condition. It is always our intention to be kind and helpful in this regard.

“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.”

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