How Many More of Our Kids Were Butchered by Doctors?; Parents Call for Inquiry into Yorkhill ANGUISH: MOTHERS' GRIEF AS THEY DISCOVER YEARS LATER THAT SURGEONS REMOVED THEIR DEAD BABIES' ORGANS

By Lewis, Tamzin | Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), August 7, 2000 | Go to article overview

How Many More of Our Kids Were Butchered by Doctors?; Parents Call for Inquiry into Yorkhill ANGUISH: MOTHERS' GRIEF AS THEY DISCOVER YEARS LATER THAT SURGEONS REMOVED THEIR DEAD BABIES' ORGANS


Lewis, Tamzin, Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)


THEY shared the anguish of watching their children die after surgery and the heartbreak of their funerals.

Now three grieving mothers have to live with the awful realisation that the bodies of their dead babies were butchered by the doctors who were supposed to save them.

And after years of mourning and trying to piece their shattered lives together, they face the prospect of arranging new funerals.

Last week, the Record told how Janet and David Lynch, of Newton Mearns, near Glasgow, didn't find out until nine years after baby Nicholas died that that surgeons removed his heart and lungs.

They got the organs back and held a second funeral - only to discover weeks later that they had also taken his brain.

The news prompted three other mums, including two sisters, to tell of their own torment after their children's organs were removed without permission in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, at Yorkhill, Glasgow.

Christine and Paul Cleary have already held a second funeral for Lauren Ashley after some organs were returned. But they have now learned that Yorkhill kept brain tissue too and, like the Lynch family, face the agony of a third funeral.

Chrstine, 36, of Port Glasgow, said: "I couldn't believe we put all our trust in the doctors that tried to save Lauren's life, and then these same doctors were involved with ripping her apart.

"We wonder how many more parents there are out there who have been treated this way."

Christine and Paul are petitioning for a public inquiry into organ retention at Yorkhill and will meet Health Minister Susan Deacon next month.

Sisters Roseanne and Elizabeth Cadden are backing calls for an inquiry. Their sons who died at Yorkhill 11 years apart, both had parts of their bodies removed.

Roseanne's son, John Paul, died in 1986 but it was only last week that she found out his brain, heart and lungs had been removed.

His brain was taken by the Southern General Hospital and she has been told it was incinerated with other waste.

Distraught Roseanne, of Irvine, Ayrshire, said: "How am I supposed to cope with that knowledge?"

Her sister Elizabeth, of Stevenston, Ayrshire, learned just last week that her dead baby Peter's brain had been removed after he died in 1997. She was told it had been "disposed of" following an examination.

She said: "I don't know when this pain will stop."EVERY Christmas and birthday, Christine and Paul Cleary leave gifts at the grave of their baby daughter Lauren Ashley.

It shows their devotion to the gorgeous child they nicknamed "button nose", and the pain they still feel at losing her after a few short weeks.

That grief is almost impossible for them to bear, knowing that doctors cut up their little girl, removed vital organs without their consent, then threw away her brain.

Christine, 36, said: "We were utterly traumatised and felt betrayed.

"It was like Lauren had been butchered."

Lauren was born at Inver-clyde hospital in Renfrewshire in March 1995. Soon after, Paul and Christine were told she was having trouble breathing.

The baby was moved to intensive care at the Queen Mother's maternity hospital at Yorkhill, where doctors found she only had one lung.

It was hoped Lauren would live normally. She was allowed four weeks with the family at their home in Port Glasgow.

But she went back to hospital in April. She was moved from Inverclyde to Yorkhill and her condition got worse until she could not breathe by herself.

Finally, in May, her lung collapsed. Christine said: "We asked for surgery but the doctors said they couldn't do any more. She was allowed to die - it was a horrendous time.

"We'd always wanted a girl and our son Paul adored her."

Then, last year, came the news that doctors at Yorkhill had been removing babies' organs. …

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