ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - The story that touched so many people is causing mothers to wonder if their babies are still alive after being told they had died at a St. Louis hospital decades ago. People around the globe responded to last Friday’s reunion of Zella Jackson Price and her 49- year-old daughter. One woman called us to say she fears the same thing happened to her at Homer G. Phillips hospital back in 1964.
Brenda Stewart said, “I just stood straight up when I seen it.” That’s her reaction after she saw the reunion story that aired April 10th. 76-year-old Zella Jackson had a baby at Homer G. Phillips back in 1965. She said hospital staff took the baby and told Zella the infant had died.
She said unknown to her, the daughter Melanie Diane Gilmore was put into foster care. Melanie’s daughters knew their mother wanted to meet her birth mom and so with a lot of searching they found Zella. They revealed a DNA test confirmed the connection. They all got to know each other this past weekend which include a visit to church where Melanie sang. Zella Jackson Price said, “She sang “Oh Happy Day and there was not a dry eye in church”
Brenda Stewart told a similar hospital story. She was 15 years at Homer G. Phillips and gave birth in 1965. Stewart said, “As she came out (the baby) she cried, was crying, they held her up for me to see her.
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 Brenda the child had died, Brenda never believed them. Stewart said, “My heart has been broken it’s always been broken.”
When Brenda’s parents showed up at the hospital they were told they couldn’t see the baby’s body because Brenda had signed papers donating the body to science even though she was not an adult. Besides, Brenda said she did not sign any such paper. Stewart added, “I still grieve it still hurts me to know my baby is out there because I never believed she was dead.”
Zella Jackson Price said, “I believe her. Yes, I believe her.
Zella Jackson Price said she’s hearing similar stories from other women. Personal injury lawyer Neil Bruntrager said the city could be successfully sued even though the hospital is closed. DNA would be strong evidence, and he says there isn’t a statute of limitations because a baby was involved.