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  1. #1
    FarangRed
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    Corpse confusion: mix-up in Phuket morgue

    Corpse confusion: mix-up in Phuket morgue

    PHUKET: Mourners at the funeral of a British man in Chalong were shocked to discover that the corpse handed over to them by staff at Vachira Phuket Hospital was not his, but that of an unidentified Westerner.

    William John “Bill” Young, 61, of Ipswich, England, passed away in his sleep on Friday, September 3, a friend told the Gazette.

    Friends of Mr Young, who was a well-known and experienced marine engineer living in Chalong, went to Vachira Phuket Hospital with his widow on Tuesday to retrieve the body for a funeral ceremony in Chalong, the friend said.

    At the Vachira morgue, the group were taken to a body on a gurney in the reception area and told by staff there that it was Mr Young.

    One friend of 20 years said that as they pulled the sheet back, “I was shocked to see my old friend looking so bad, even for a dead bloke. He looked unrecognizable – much thinner.”

    Their suspicions were assuaged by Vachira staff, who assured them that the “unrecognizable” body on the gurney was indeed that of their friend.

    Another cause for concern arose when a staff member gave them a bag said to contain Bill’s belongings. They were not his things, the friend said.

    Saying they would find his belongings later, staff loaded “Bill” into a coffin. The remains were taken to Wat Lati Wanaram in Chalong for his scheduled funeral service.

    After they arrived, the coffin lid was taken off for photographs. The mourners, immediately surprised by the condition and appearance of the body, began to question whether or not it really was that of their friend, Mr Young.

    Many theories were put forward, but the prevailing sentiment was that the body was not that of Mr Young.

    The family of Mr Young’s wife removed the bracelet on the body and discovered that it listed the identify of the deceased as “unknown”, with an estimated age of 35.

    By that point, the monks were already chanting as the word spread that the body was not Mr Young’s.

    The friend called Chalong police to report the incident.

    Shortly thereafter they received a call from Vachira Hospital confirming their suspicions: they had been given the wrong body.

    They were asked by Vachira to bring the body back to the mortuary, where they could “swap” it for the real remains of their departed friend.

    The friend said, “Some people were angry and others were laughing. Bill would have said, ‘I’m not surprised, are you?’ – and we were not.”

    The unidentified body was loaded into a private vehicle and taken back to Vachira Hospital, where hospital staff apologized wholeheartedly for the mix-up, the friend said.

    Dr Weerawat Yorsaengrat, deputy director of Vachira Phuket Hospital told the Gazette, “We admitted it was our mistake and rushed to prepare the body [Mr Young’s] for them to pick up before nightfall. In Thai culture it’s considered bad to take a body out at night."

    “His wife came to pick up the body. She understood the mistake and even thanked us for hurrying to send the body out. Vachira Hospital apologizes to the family for this mistake,” Dr Weerawat said.

    After retrieving the correct body, friends and family of Mr Young took his remains to the temple, where the cremation ceremony took place Wednesday afternoon.

    Mr Young arrived on Phuket in 1991, working with a Norwegian tour boat company. He was well-known in Chalong, where he was often consulted for his expertise in marine engineering.

    He is survived by his wife of five years, his friend said.

    In response to questions about the unidentified body, Dr Weerawat told the Gazette that such mix-ups most often occur in cases when unidentified bodies are brought to the hospital by police.

    It is normal for the Vachira morgue to house the remains of at least one unidentified Caucasian foreigner, he said.

  2. #2
    Member bretby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarangRed
    Dr Weerawat told the Gazette that such mix-ups most often occur in cases when unidentified bodies are brought to the hospital by police.
    Then I would suggest good doctor that when an unidentified body is brought in, a bracelet is attached to the wrist and one also around the ankle clearly stating UNIDENTIFIED...and if you still can`t get it right put a tag on one of the toes.

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    All farangs look the same

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    Quote Originally Posted by bretby
    Then I would suggest good doctor that when an unidentified body is brought in, a bracelet is attached to the wrist and one also around the ankle clearly stating UNIDENTIFIED...and if you still can`t get it right put a tag on one of the toes.
    or tattoo the forehead, or put a silly hat on it or a snorkel and mask, maybe tie a kitten to its ankle--some kind of clue

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    Quote Originally Posted by bretby View Post
    Then I would suggest good doctor that when an unidentified body is brought in, a bracelet is attached to the wrist and one also around the ankle clearly stating UNIDENTIFIED
    Erm, they are. The sign board in the morgue lists the "names" of the bodies and the corpses are tagged. Unidentified foreigners are "No Name Farang". I know. I identified many. That's why you always carry a piece of ID on your person. Quit your whingeing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bretby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by FarangRed
    Dr Weerawat told the Gazette that such mix-ups most often occur in cases when unidentified bodies are brought to the hospital by police.
    Then I would suggest good doctor that when an unidentified body is brought in, a bracelet is attached to the wrist and one also around the ankle clearly stating UNIDENTIFIED...and if you still can`t get it right put a tag on one of the toes.
    And to make sure they get it right, put the unidentifieds in a section reserved for unidentifieds.

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    Member bretby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Gorgon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bretby View Post
    Then I would suggest good doctor that when an unidentified body is brought in, a bracelet is attached to the wrist and one also around the ankle clearly stating UNIDENTIFIED
    Erm, they are. The sign board in the morgue lists the "names" of the bodies and the corpses are tagged. Unidentified foreigners are "No Name Farang". I know. I identified many. That's why you always carry a piece of ID on your person. Quit your whingeing.
    You totally miss the point again.
    The present system obviously DOES NOT work if the wrong bodies are being delivered to relatives. YOU may have identified many bodies, but that is totally irrelevant to this situation. So instead of masturbating your ego go down to the hospital in question and make some valid suggestions in order to rectify this disturbing situation.

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    ^ Gee, those of us with sense went and IDed the body ourselves and then you are there to take it to the temple. You too scared to look at a corpse? Errors like this happen in the West, too. Fek, they can't even get some of the graves correct at Arlington National Cemetery. You are just being a crying ninny. You live in Thailand. Deal with it.

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    Member bretby's Avatar
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    Oh! I can see from your posts to-day that all is not well.

    I wish you a better day tomorrow
    Last edited by bretby; 11-09-2010 at 05:17 PM.

  10. #10
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    Hopefully when I die people will mistake me for a 35 year old.

  11. #11
    Mid
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    Ipswich: Paradise island death man in shock body mix-up
    LIZZIE PARRY
    Wednesday, 10 November, 2010

    IPSWICH: Unanswered questions are today plaguing the devastated family of an Ipswich man whose body became involved in a shocking morgue mix-up after his sudden death in Thailand.

    William Young, known as Billy, died on September 3, but his family in Suffolk only found out this week after his ex-wife Taz Young discovered an article in the local newspaper about his death.

    She learned that mourners at the 61-year-old’s funeral were shocked to find the body handed over to his friends and current wife was not his – but that of an unidentified Westerner.

    It is understood the 61-year-old, who married his second wife five years ago, died in his sleep.

    But when his widow went to the Vachira Phuket Hospital morgue to retrieve Mr Young’s body, they were shocked to see he was “unrecognizable.”

    Despite assurances from staff at the hospital that the body was that of Mr Young, his friends’ suspicions were further aroused when staff gave them a bag said to contain Mr Young’s belongings. However, they bore no resemblance to his possessions.

    A friend of Mr Young told the Phuket Gazette that it was not until the body had been taken to the temple ready for the cremation that the family of Mr Young’s wife discovered a bracelet on the body which listed the identity of the man as “unknown” and estimated he was 35 years old.

    After admitting the mix-up, the hospital asked that the unidentified body be returned.

    Mr Young’s family were then finally able to retrieve his body before his cremation at the temple on September 8.

    Dr Weerawat Yorsaengrat, deputy director of the hospital, said: “We admitted it was our mistake and rushed to prepare the body [Mr Young’s] for them to pick up before nightfall.

    “Vachira Hospital apologizes to the family for this mistake.”

    Shocked at learning of her ex-husband’s fate, Ms Young, who lived with him in London Road and Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, before he moved to Phuket in 1991, described him as a “larger-than-life character, the life and soul of the party.”

    She said after losing contact with him after he came home six years ago, his family in Suffolk had been devastated to hear of his death.

    “It was a horrible shock,” she said.

    “We want to know what happened, how Billy died and why his friends and family out there didn’t contact anyone here.

    “We just don’t understand what has happened, there are so many unanswered questions.

    “We were best friends. His family are still my family, we are all devastated.”
    The 50-year-old said her ex-husband would have found the mix-up at the hospital funny.

    “I can’t believe even in death Billy has caused such confusion,” she added.

    “What happened at the temple, with the wrong body is Billy’s life in a nutshell, he would have laughed and found it quite funny. He was a bit crazy, quite a character.”

    eveningstar.co.uk

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