A GRIEVING son has left his mother’s body in a mortuary for 13 weeks while he tries to crowdfund cash for her funeral.
William Neil has vowed that his late mum, Marilyn, will not have a pauper’s funeral and that her body will remain in the morgue for as long as it takes to raise £2,000.
The 42-year-old Tesco worker says he wants to give his mother, who died suddenly aged 59, “what she deserves”.
Marilyn, from Dumfries, died on February 14 after being in hospital for just four days.
William said doctors at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary listed the cause of death as “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and ventilatory failure”. William disagrees with this, insisting she was untreated for flu.
Her remains are still in the mortuary at the hospital and William is determined they will stay there until a “proper” funeral is organised.
He set up a Go Fund Me page on April 21, titled ‘Funeral Expenses for my mum’.
It reads: “My mum passed away suddenly on the 14th of February and we haven’t got the money to bury her.
“It’s been ten weeks since she died and we’re no closer to burying her.
“So I’m asking for donations to help me make this possible, it’s just so hard because she shouldn’t be dead and she was only 59.”
But he has so far only raised £65 of his £2000 target.
Speaking today, William said: “I actually feel like I’m close to exploding.
“That’s been basically three months now and I still haven’t been able to bury her, that’s the least she deserves is to be put to rest.
“I’m not doing a pauper’s funeral for her. She will just have to stay in the morgue until I’ve got the £2000 deposit as she deserves a decent send off.
“The hospital haven’t said anything to me about it. A body can stay in the morgue for as long as is needed but she’s just deteriorating and is going to keep doing so.”
Christina Given donated to the page, writing: “Sorry you’re having to go through this. I lost my Mum when she was 51.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever went through, my Mum knew she was dying so she planned and paid for her own funeral so I wouldn’t have the worry of finding funds for it. If she hadn’t done this I don’t know how I would have managed.”
Katie Clow Briggs wrote: “Sorry to hear about your mum . Hope you can raise the funds to enable you to lay your mum to rest and to have a final resting place”
Hazel Knight added: “Hope your mum is laid to rest soon.”
Public health funerals, or “pauper’s funerals”, are held when a person does not have a family that can organise or pay for a funeral, so the service is provided by the local authority.
FOI data released in February showed there had been a 12% rise in these funerals since 2011, with the total cost to local authorities accumulating to £4m.
The avarage pauper’s funeral now costs councils in the region of £1,000 while the average cost of a private funeral is approaching £4,000.
Data from 260 local authorities showed there were 3,784 public health funerals across Britain in the financial year of 2015/16.
A spokeswoman for Dumfries and Galloway NHS said: “We cannot address individual cases publicly, but we would encourage anyone who has a concern to get in touch with us.
Donations to William’s Go Fund Me page can be made here