Brenda Stewart felt a pang of sadness when she heard about the bittersweet reunion of a woman and her mother, who was told in 1964 that the newborn girl had actually died.
She was struck not just by the tale’s inherent sadness but also because she believes the same thing happened to her about the same time at the same hospital when she was about the same age, according to Fox 2 Now.
“I just stood straight up when I seen it,” Stewart tells Fox 2. Now she wants to know what happened to her baby, too.
Stewart was among many who heard last week about the reunion of Zella Jackson Price and her 49-year-old daughter, Melanie Diane Gilmore, the report says. Price saw Melanie only briefly in 1964 before officials at the now-defunct Homer G. Phillips hospital in St. Louis returned to say that the newborn girl had passed away.
But it was an apparent lie. Price, who was just 15 at the time, said that unbeknownst to her, Melanie was placed in foster care.
Stewart, like Price, was an unmarried teen mom at the time of her daughter’s birth at Homer G. Phillips, which told Stewart’s parents that they could not see the baby because their daughter had given signed consent to give her remains to science, the report says.
“As she came out [the baby] cried, was crying, they held her up for me to see her,” she said to Fox 2. But she never got to hold the baby. She said the hospital staff removed the infant girl from the room, only to return to tell Stewart that the child had died. But she never believed them.
“My heart has been broken; it’s always been broken,” she told the television news outlet. “I still grieve. It still hurts me to know my baby is out there because I never believed she was dead.”
Now she has hope after hearing Price’s story.
Price tells the station that she’s hearing similar stories from other women. Personal-injury lawyer Neil Bruntrager tells the news station that the city could be successfully sued even though the hospital is closed. DNA would be strong evidence, and he says there is no statute of limitations because a baby was involved.
Read more at Fox 2 Now.