Michele Rogers and her husband, Mark, suffered the loss of their 23-year-old daughter, Leslie, who passed away after being shot in the head.
Now, three months after her death, the parents are facing the traumatic moment all over again.
All of those feelings came flooding back to the North Carolina family when a package arrived on their doorstep, according to KRON.Screenshot/KRON
As WBTV reports, Mark explained that a worker from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center called and asked where his daughter’s belongings could be sent:
“I asked them what they were. 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.”
The box had such a horrific odor that Michele instinctively grabbed a pair of gloves and took the box outside before she looked to see what was inside.Screenshot/KRON
She recalled to WBTV:
“I opened it. The smell floored me. I’ve never smelled nothing like that.”
She was horrified to find the clothes Leslie was wearing the night she was killed bundled up inside. They were placed only in a regular plastic bag — not stored in a biomedical bag — with keys and other small-sized items mixed in.
The package arrived while Mark was at work, so Michele was alone when she saw her daughter’s blood-soaked clothes in front of her. Mark told WBTV:
“My wife calls me and starts crying. They shipped me the bloody clothes from my daughter that they cut off of her in the emergency room.”
The mother and father were floored that the hospital would ship their dead daughter’s clothes to them covered in blood stains, especially since Michele was told “no” when she asked if there was anything she could take home after her daughter’s death.Screenshot/KRON
She explained to WBTV:
“I was there the whole day. 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.”
The distraught mother couldn’t believe what she was staring at and thought it to be a sick joke:
“I don’t understand. It was like a prank had been pulled. Why would somebody send that to a parent so long after losing their child?”
Kevin P. High, an executive for the hospital, took responsibility for the mistake. In a statement to The News & Observer, he said:
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.
The woman at the hospital who sent the box to the family claimed she didn’t know what was inside the bag because she wasn’t allowed to open it.Screenshot/KRON
As a result of the incident, Michele told WBTV she wants a change to be made at the hospital:
“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.”
She doesn’t want anyone else to experience the pain her family felt after opening the box from the hospital.
“Nobody should have to go through that,” the mother said. “No one.”