NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The family of a Bronx grandmother whose body was mistakenly sent to a medical school last year says they are still awaiting an apology.

The family of 85-year-old Aura Ballesteros has reached a $115,000 settlement with the city.

Hector Ballesteros said Friday that what happened to his mother, who died in May 2014 after reportedly battling heart disease and dementia, still haunts him today, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

“This was a big shock, big trauma,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do.”

Hector Ballesteros, made arrangements for the city’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner to hold the former psychologist’s body until family could travel to New York from Colombia. Instead, it was sent to Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

“As of today, never I have received an apology from that institution,” Hector Ballesteros said.

Aura Ballesteros (Credit: Handout)

Aura Ballesteros (Credit: Handout)

The body was not dissected, but Ballesteros said when the family got it back it was unrecognizable.

“This should not be happening,” said Sanford Rubenstein, the family’s attorney. “It should not have happened here, and we need a state statute to require affirmative written consent in the future.”

A new state law is pending, Rubenstein said. Current New York law allows unclaimed bodies to be turned over to medical schools in as little as 48 hours.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


Leave a Reply