Forty years after the death of her son, one mom asked to have his coffin exhumed to verify once and for all her doubts that he wasn’t actually buried inside it. The shocked mother was furious to find only clothes in the coffin, with no body or bones inside that would show there was a child buried inside it.
Lydia Reid had a son named Gary Paton who died back in 1975 when he was just 7 days old at Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children.
The grief-stricken mother was devastated, of course, but because the coffin was closed as was the custom of burying babies in the day, she didn’t get to check Gary’ body inside until it was time to bury him.
“The coffin was light. I knew the weight of a baby. My son was not there. Again, nobody believed me,” mommy Lydia claimed.
But she could no longer open the coffin at the time due to restrictions. So, she spent the next 40+ years trying to find a judge who would believe her case and have the coffin exhumed to check her doubts.
Finally, after 42 years, she finally got a court order to exhume the grave, thanks to the help of professor Dame Susan Black.
“I wanted to be wrong. I wanted to be called a stupid old woman. But the minute Sue lifted the shawl out of the ground, I knew there was nothing in it. Nothing. My heart hit my feet. I didn’t know what to say,” the shocked mother told reporters.
Inside the coffin was a shawl, a cross where Gary’s body should have been, a hat, and a nameplate. But adding insult to injury, the nameplate even bore an incorrectly spelled name: “Garry Paton”.
“My son wasn’t there. Someone stole the body of my son. I had buried my empty coffin. I want them tested for DNA as I want to know if there is any part of my son there,” Lydia said.
But Lydia’s case is not as rare as it might sound. According to The Epoch Times, the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland admits that there has been widespread organ retention from 1970 to 2000 in many hospitals within its jurisdiction, with over 6,000 samples of organs and tissues kept.
Lydia believes this might be the reason why her son was missing from his coffin.
But what if her son had actually been stolen by someone at the hospital and is actually alive today? That’s an interesting thought…
“Even if he’s been incinerated I want to know. Even if he’s lying in a jar in a hospital somewhere I want to know,” Lydia said.
“If it’s possible to get my son back, I want my son back. And if it’s not, then at least tell me, and let me have peace.”