Wife sues over loss of husband's remains

July 23, 2009 at 11:54 AM

CHICAGO, July 23 (UPI) -- A suburban Chicago woman has filed a lawsuit over the loss of her husband's body that was donated to a university for medical study.

Margaret Hejna said she was fulfilling her husband's wishes when she signed paperwork in 2003 authorizing the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois to use the body of the former airman for science, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

Under the agreement, James Hejna's body was to be cremated and the ashes returned to his family after Midwestern University of Downers Grove was finished using it.

Years later, Hejna says she was heartbroken to learn that her husband's remains were lost.

"Had I known it would turn out like this, I would never have done it," Hejna told the Tribune.

Her suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court Wednesday says the mix-up has inflicted emotional distress and interfered with her rights to her husband's remains.

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