Family who lost newborn baby buries wrong infant after hospital sends another body by 'mistake'
Canadians Tony Alagalak and his partner Alice Kinak are now demanding answers from the hospital as to how such a mishap could have happened
A Canadian family who recently lost their newborn son have been left devastated after they were told by the hospital that they had buried the wrong baby because of a mistake. According to CBC, Tony Alagalak and his partner Alice Kinak of Nunavut, are demanding answers from the St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg following a mishap that saw them provide a funeral for an infant that was not their son.
The pair had initially rushed to a health center in the Inuit hamlet of Arviat on April 19 at around 7 pm after Alice, who was more than eight months pregnant at the time, had become sick. However, because the health center in the town of just 2,500 was not equipped to help them, the couple had to wait for four hours for a plane to arrive that could then airlift them to a hospital in Winnipeg.
"Our son had nothing to get monitored by," said Tony of the Arviat health center. "There was no one experienced to give birth in town, and the worst part is that we had to wait for the medevac plane to come in."
After they boarded the plane, it took them another three hours before they arrived at St. Boniface Hospital. The delay likely proved to be fatal, with their baby boy dying, though it is still unclear how or when he died.
They returned home without a new addition to their family, and when the hospital sent their baby's body back to them soon after, they figured they could get over their pain and start anew after giving him a proper burial.
The infant was buried with a funeral which was attended by the whole family, but close to a month later, on May 15, officials from St. Boniface arrived at their community, and Tony and Alice were called to the health center in Arviat once again.
Tony's grandmother, Hattie, delivered the bad news. "They said they made a mistake... and brought the wrong body to Arviat," she revealed. "My goodness, that's such a huge mistake."
The implication was that they would now have to dig out the body they had buried, something that did not sit well with the family. "They said they're going to dig the baby out from the grave and once the coffin is out, they'll take it back with them to Winnipeg," she said, adding that it was "devastating and shocking."
St. Boniface refused to clarify how the mistake had happened or who the body in Arviat belonged to, releasing a statement where they said they had to "respect the confidentiality and privacy of all our patients and families."
Tony and Alice did eventually receive the body of their son and held another funeral, though they said they are still waiting for answers. "I would really like to know who made that mistake and why it happened," Tony said. "I don't think that should ever happen. It was like putting an extra thousand pounds on my shoulders knowing that our son was misplaced."