The In-between years
Only some of the documents below will enlarge if clicked on
As I have said earlier in this website, in 1999 the scandals at two hospitals in the UK who retained body parts without informing the parents or relatives after post mortems were coming to light. Nearly everyday there were references to this on tv, radio or in the newspapers. It was a very difficult subject to get away from. Because of this my problems associated with not knowing whether Brendan had had a post mortem or not were being constantly reminded to me literally on a daily basis. I was convinced that this post mortem had taken place but I was not in a position where I could prove it, I had no evidence.
This state of limbo lasted for 18 months until in our local newspaper, the South Wales Argus, an article appeared with the headlines, "I'm grieving again for my stillborn son" The article went on to say that a mother from Abergavenny had found out, after making enquiries with Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust, that body parts of her stillborn son were being held at the Neville Hall hospital, Abergavenny, 8 years after he died. She made the enquires because of the publicity with the other hospitals.
South Wales Argus, Tuesday September 4, 2001
I contacted Mr Ben Turner a reporter with the South Wales Argus and told him my story. He made enquiries with the NHS Trust about my fears and a Trust spokesman said, "We can find no record (*remember the mortuary report*) of a post mortem examination being carried out, and it was and never has been our policy to retain organs for medical research"
It should be noted that when Gwent Healthcare have been asked about post mortems they usually reply using the words "medical research or we do not have teaching hospitals" and this point was repeatedly made to us by Mr Keith Hamilton when he visited us at home in January 2000. Yes they do not do medical research and they have no teaching hospitals but they do practice butchery.
Mr Ben Turner published his article about our concerns for our son in the South Wales Argus but other than the statement the Trust made to Mr Ben Turner no further information was forthcoming from them. They had dug a hole for themselves and were not going to emerge from it.
South Wales Argus, Thursday September 20, 2001 (click image)
Some months later on January 30, 2002 another article to do with parents who had discovered that post mortems had been carried out on their children appeared in the South Wales Argus. It was a story about two cousins whose first born children died within a few months of each other and discovered that Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust were holding body parts of these children. Their children had died within a few months of each other, 20 years previously and they were contacted by the Trust because the Welsh Assembly had ordered all Welsh NHS Trusts to audit the remains of persons stored that they had carried out post mortems on. They were then to contact the relatives to tell them of the remains they were holding. These two parents went through a second funeral when the body parts of their children were released.
I had seen this story in the newspaper on the evening it was published as it was the centre pages of the newspaper and covered two pages. Seeing some of the same photographs that had appeared in previous articles and with headlines of a similar nature I did not read it. I thought that there would be nothing new in this report and without evidence with regards to my son there was no way that I could prove anything. Later that evening my daughter Shelley telephoned and asked if I had read the article in the newspaper and I said that I had seen it but had not read it as it seemed to contain old information and I would be continuing too beat my head against a brick wall. On the following Sunday my wife said to me that perhaps I should read the newspaper report before she threw it out and so semi-reluctantly I read it.
In this news report, the Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust said, "Our investigations were carried out in accordance with strict guidelines issued by the National Assembly of Wales. The initial stage has now been completed and validated by a team from the National Assembly of Wales". "The policy of Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust is, and always has been, that we do not retain whole organs for teaching or any other purposes". "We are now in contact with all families who have made inquires, we are offering our full support to them and will continue to do so"
This statement makes very interesting reading, "investigation carried out in accordance with strict guide lines laid down by the National Assembly of Wales", RUBBISH, as laid down by Gwent NHS Trust. They were told before Ben Turner had his article about my concerns published that they had to contact ALL relatives of body parts that they had stored, but they hadn't contacted me!!!
"The initial stage has now been completed and validated by a team from the National Assembly of Wales", couldn't get a better team? , must have my name, haven't they!, Oh no they didn't!!!!
" The policy of Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust is, and always has been, that we do not retain whole organs for teaching or any other purposes". Now read between the lines, 'whole organs', no they don't have any but they do have thousands of blocks and slides and it should be remembered that a block could hold the whole organ or a substantial part of it of a new born child. Notice also how the 'teaching' element has crept in again and 'medical research' is covered by 'other purposes'.
Now the important part, "we are now in contact with all families who have made inquires", were they?, they had made no contact with me at anytime voluntarily even though I had contacted them way back in 1999 and they had no intention of contacting me anyway because they had dug themselves deeper and deeper into an abyss of lies, where I was concerned.
South Wales Argus, centre pages, January 30, 2002
I read the paper as my wife had suggested earlier above and when I did I saw that the hospital that had carried out the post mortems on these children was the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, the very same hospital my son was in when he died and eight years after my son's death they were STILL carrying out post mortems, post mortems that they were denying to me and the people of Gwent that they were performing.
This now made me very angry and although I knew in my heart that a post mortem HAD been carried out on Brendan this newspaper article confirmed it. I then wrote an open letter to Martin Turner and sent a copy to the South Wales Argus hoping that they would publish it. Unfortunately they did not.
In this letter I accused Martin Turner and Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust of deliberately lying to me to cover up the facts that they had been carrying out hospital post mortems for years and I demanded to know everything about my wife's stay in hospital and and the full facts surrounding the death of my son.
Letter, February 7, 2002 to Martin Turner (click images)
Following this letter I now received replies in writing from Mr Martin Turner and the Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust because I had told them in my letter that this was the only communication from them that I would accept and now the truth was about to come out.