After a (literally) heart-wrenching battle, Texas widow Linda Carswell will finally be able to reclaim her husband’s heart, more than 8 years after he died.
The bizarre case began when her husband, Jerry, a 612-year old high school track coach died suddenly after being admitted to Christus St. Catherine Hospital in Katy, TX for kidney stones in 2004. As a result, Linda sued the facility for negligence. While the court sided with the hospital in regards to his care, a jury did award her $1.75 million in damages in 2010 after it was learned that affiliated St. Joseph Hospital in Houston had been holding onto Jerry’s heart (or at least tissue samples of it) ever since performing his autopsy. She was also granted the right to reclaim the organ. However, Christus Health officials said they would refuse to comply if it meant returning Jerry's heart tissue “would result in the destruction of those samples or would otherwise render such samples unsuitable for testing/inspection prior to the conclusion of this litigation."
Now it looks the Carswell family may finally get their wish after a Texas appeals court declined to uphold a stay on returning the heart tissue to them on August 29th.
According to a report on ABC news this past Wednesday, Christus Health spokeswoman Abby McNeill stated that the company would “not file any further motions related to Mr. Carswell's heart tissue that's retained at St. Joseph Hospital."
If she gets her husband's heart back, Linda Carswell and her two sons plan to keep it in an urn.