The Suddie Hospital Funeral Parlour cannot be exonerated for this shocking mix-up
The Suddie Funeral Parlour cannot be exonerated from blame for the shocking mix-up which caused the body of well-known Essequibo Pandit, Harry Persaud of Adventure Village, to be mistakenly cremated at L’ Union foreshore on Wednesday.
After the death of the Pandit which occurred at the Suddie Hospital on Tuesday, his body was removed to the parlour by staff members of the institution and arrangements were finalized for him to be cremated on Thursday.
A visit was made by family members of the Pandit around 16:33hrs on Wednesday to indicate to the parlour that his body will be removed at a given time the next morning for funeral service at his home and then for cremation.
Whilst there, the family members decided to have a look at the Pandit but it was discovered that his body was missing.
An alarm was raised and it was only then the mortuary staff observed that the Pandit’s body had been handed over earlier on the same day by mistake to family members of a man whose name was given as See Persaud, 74, of Reliance whose body was at the morgue and was scheduled to be cremated.
Family members of the Pandit made a frantic dash to retrieve his body but it was too late as he was already wrongfully cremated. Only his ashes remained.
See Persaud’s body is still lying at the mortuary and it still remains strikingly baffling as to how come no detection was made of him being different from the Pandit when he was being removed from the parlour, to the time of viewing at his home and also at the cremation site before being placed on the pyre.
This is not a case where the bodies of the Pandit and that of See Persaud were in a state of
de-composition, mangled or mutilated beyond recognition. From information reaching me, the two of them bore the same size and complexion but there were different, distinguishable features to their face.
During a visit to See Persaud’s home to ascertain from family members what could have caused the mix–up, it was explained to me that there were also two men bearing the same name of See Persaud at the morgue.
The other See Persaud was from Anna Regina and family members went at the mortuary to uplift the body of See Persaud of Reliance, the one from Anna Regina was pointed out. The family objected and refused the body after saying that it was the wrong person.
It was then the body of Pandit Harry Persaud was pulled out and given to them. They were some reluctance to accept the body because it also looked different but after an explanation was given by a member of the mortuary staff that some facial features will change through freezing, his word was accepted to be true.
The family members of See Persaud from Reliance confirmed that there were no tags on any of the dead bodies and according to them, had this been done this difficult situation would not have arisen.
While I was there much regret was shown for the ugly incident which was described as unfortunate and the first of its kind to occur in the Region 2 district.
A cremation is now fixed for See Persaud for today (yesterday) but hundreds of people not being aware of what had transpired converged but with much disappointment to the Pandit’s home on Thursday to pay tribute for his indomitable service to the community.
It was felt that he deserved a decent funeral.
An official of the Public Health Department was present but there were no one from the police.