After decades of searching, a British mom finally is at peace after discovering the resting place of her newborn daughter’s body.
Veronica Thompson gave birth to her daughter Theresa in 1973, but the baby girl was premature and died four days later, the Birmingham Mail reports. Initially, Thompson said she thought her baby girl’s body was cremated, but later a scandal involving the unauthorized harvesting of babies’ body parts for medical research prompted her to find out exactly what happened to her daughter’s body.
“My message to other women who have gone through similar situations is to never give up,” Thompson said after finally discovering her daughter’s grave.
Theresa was buried in a public grave just a few miles from Thompson’s home in Kings Heath, England, according to the report. A marker bearing Theresa’s name now stands in the cemetery, ITV News reports.
Here’s more from the Mail:
Theresa was born prematurely at the former Sorrento Maternity Hospital in Moseley .
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Veronica, now aged 60, said she was led to believe the hospital “disposed” of her remains.
“It was something you didn’t question, it was a different era back then,” she said.
“I saw my daughter in the morgue, I had her christened in the hospital and then I was discharged.
“I was led to believe the hospital disposed of her body.
“I thought her remains had been incinerated.”
The Sorrento closed in 1993 but Veronica began her search for answers after reading of the body parts scandal some years later.
A report released in 2000 confirmed that certain body parts of children who died during treatment at Birmingham Children’s Hospital were removed without permission over a 35-year period.
Veronica was told in writing that her daughter’s remains had not been tampered with.
In 2012, hospital staff found documents from Theresa’s christening that led them to the grave site, according to the report.
Thompson said she is telling her story because she believes other women may be in her same position. If she had known earlier about her daughter’s resting place, she said she believes it would have helped her with her grief.
“I could have grieved properly for my baby at her grave,” she said. “Instead, I had to fight to find where my baby’s body was.”
Because of her persistence and determination, Thompson now can be at peace knowing that her daughter was treated with the dignity and respect she deserved.