A WOMAN who says her dad’s biggest fear was having his organs removed after his death has been told his heart and brain were secretly stored for decades.
Sarah Simpson’s dad Terry died 22 years ago after falling from a block of flats in Newcastle and suffering a head injury.
Before his death the 41-year-old had told his daughter that he believed in an afterlife and wanted to be cremated with his body intact.
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His family believed this had taken place until police informed them that Mr Simpson’s heart, brain and other “unidentified parts” had been discovered during an audit of South Tyneside Hospital.
Ms Simpson, from Newcastle, who is planning legal action, said: “I was absolutely horrified. My dad had always said his biggest nightmare was waking up in an afterlife without his organs.
“While my dad was in intensive care we were approached about the possibility of organ donation and strongly objected to it because of my father’s beliefs.”
It is understood several other families in the North-East have been told the organs of their loved ones have been retained and Northumbria Police are dealing with cases dating between 1991 to 2000.
Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Theaker said tissue samples were retained following unexplained deaths for investigations.
She said: “In some cases, this material can be retained for significant periods of time to support the criminal investigation and fulfil legal requirements.
“We have made significant improvements in relation to the management and retention of human tissue samples and we want to reassure the public that risks of this happening again are low.”
South Tyneside Hospital said they did not want to comment until after the weekend.