Joanne Cummings told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that she had to travel for more than 4 hours with a body in her hearse after the morgue at Hedland Health Campus refused to accept her large delivery.
“I actually had to turn around and drive two hours home to Roebourne (in Western Australia) and keep him in my car overnight,” said Cummings.
“I had to have the air-con up full and look after him that way, check on him every half hour, and the following morning we hired a sea container with a chiller unit in it.”
She confirmed that it was also not the first time that the Hedland Health Campus hospital had rejected large bodies.
Cummings and her 200 kilogram passenger went for a pointless four hour drive when the staff claimed that their facilities are not big enough to house the man. She said that in a similar case last year the body of a 250kg man was also rejected as being “too fat, he can’t fit in the fridge,” Cummings was told.
“You can’t say things like that – imagine if this was your mother,” Cummings told the North West Telegraph.
“It is imperative that at all times a deceased person is treated with the utmost care and respect and viewings are arranged so as not to cause distress and inconvenience to grieving families,” said the Western Australia Country Health Service regional director Ron Wynn.
An irate Ms Cummings continued that, “I could probably put a baby elephant in one of those fridges and it’d fit through the door, and they’re refusing entry for a human being.”
“My issue is if that was your father, mother, partner … you wouldn’t want them refused entry into the mortuary.”