Oct 19, 2009 7:35 AM by Sarah Rosario

A Mix Up At The Morgue

A mix up at the morgue leaves the wrong person cremated. The women died at Lafayette General Medical Center but their bodies went to the wrong funeral homes. "I can't explain the feeling," said Chakakhan Joseph, Ruby Joseph's daughter, "It's overwhelming," she said as she started to cry.

Her mother, 58-year old Ruby Joseph died of a heart attack on October 7th. Leaving behind her three children; Chakakhan, Kenneth and Guy. They are now not only mourning her death, but also a mix up that left her cremated. "I walked in Raphael's funeral home and saw this lady, in my moms casket, in her dress, and it was not my mom," said Chaka. The woman she saw was 82-year old Rose Alex, who was supposed to be at Kinchen funeral home in Lafayette.

At that moment Raphael's funeral director called LGMC and told them they gave him the wrong body. Joseph's funeral was supposed to take place on Saturday, but since the family found out on Friday that her body was cremated, they still had a funeral service except the pallbearers were holding an empty casket.

"They should have been paying attention to what they were doing, they should have been following procedures and stop trying to take all kinds of short cuts," said Guy Joseph.

"How could you burn a body and not know what you were burning. Why would you not look at the tag before you burned the body," said Chaka. The oldest son Kenneth said, "It's a horrible thing, it's horrible for the Joseph family and it could be horrible for any other family."

The Joseph family says they are now seeking legal action

Kinchen funeral home refused to comment on the issue. Lafayette general medical center's CEO released a statement saying he was sorry for the grief this has caused both families. He went on to say, "Lafayette general's standard procedure is to allow funeral homes to retrieve deceased patients from our morgue. All patients are identified with two separate id's and in this case, the bodies were properly identified but the wrong patients were retrieved."

Callecod says they are reviewing their processes to ensure this never happens again.

Sarah Rosario




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