Sunday, April 05, 2020

Raymond Showery and the Head in the Milk Carton

The April 5, 1981 El Paso Times recounts a nightmare endured by one of the hapless patients of Dr. Raymond Showery.

I'll call the patient "Mandy." She was in an advanced state of pregnancy when she went to Showery's Family Hospital for an abortion Showery struggled to perform it for perhaps two hours. One of his employees reported that he emerged from the procedure room drenched in sweat.

Several days later the patient's mother came to Family Hospital carrying a milk carton containing a 3-inch diameter severed baby head. She gave the carton to an employee named Olga and told her that Mandy had expelled the head while her mother was massaging her abdomen. "I remember the eyes were bugging," Olga told the Times reporter. "That's when I decided to quit."

Some wag decided to attach a sign to the carton reading, "Hi, do you remember me?" and leave it in the freezer as a surprise for an employee who was away for training.

Nobody could recall who had finally disposed of the head, or how. Showery insisted that he wouldn't send a patient home with a retained fetal head and that it must have just been a large clot that looked like a baby's head.

OB/GYNs questioned by the Times noted that it was entirely possible -- albeit irresponsible -- to send a patient home with a retained fetal head. From the size that Showery's employees described, they indicated that the baby would have been of about 6 1/2 months' gestation.


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