Scotland mother gets baby son’s remains from hospital after 48 years

PTI, Mar 17, 2023, 2:24 PM IST

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A mother from Scotland who has been fighting for more than four decades to find out what happened to her dead baby’s remains has finally found closure as she received her son’s remains 48 years after he died, a media report said on Friday.

Lydia Reid, 74, from Edinburgh, Scotland has campaigned for years to find out what happened to her son after his death in 1975 as there were no human remains found in his coffin, the BBC reported.

She got to know that her baby was not at his place of burial after a court granted an order for exhumation in September 2017.

Reid’s baby, Gary, was a week old when he died of Rhesus disease, a condition where antibodies in a pregnant woman’s blood destroy her baby’s blood cells.

Reid claimed that when she asked the hospital to see her son a few days after he died, she was shown a different child.

She also said a postmortem examination of her son’s body was conducted against her wishes.

Reid’s fear that her son’s organs were removed for research was realised when she discovered that her son’s organs had indeed been removed for tests.

The Crown Office has now allowed the organs and other body parts that were stored in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to be handed over to Gary’s mother.

Reid has been a leading figure in the Scottish campaign to expose how hospitals unlawfully retained dead children’s body parts for research.

The National Health Service in Scotland was forced to admit the widespread practice after an investigation into organ retention at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool.

It was found that about 6,000 organs and tissues were kept by Scottish hospitals between 1970 and 2000, many from children, according to the BBC report.

Reid, who is suffering from bowel cancer and is admitted to the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, still does not know what happened to the rest of Gary’s body.

”I have been desperate to get my son back and now I have. It’s very difficult to put into words how I feel… Now I can bury him before I die, I feel great relief,” she was quoted as saying.

Reid said she would check herself out for 24 hours to hold her son’s funeral on Saturday, the report added.

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