ONLY ON 3: Erlanger's response to baby sent home in cooler
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- Sunday, 22-year-old Melvina Brown delivered a premature baby at Erlanger.
The hospital released her, but said because the baby was born alive, they couldn't dispose of the body.
Melvina said she didn't have the means to pay for a funeral, so the hospital released her baby boy's body to her, and she carried him home in a styrofoam cooler.
Many people have come forward offering Melvina some help.
In the meantime, Erlanger Vice President Doug Fisher spoke with Channel 3 Tuesday afternoon and says the situation has taught his staff a lesson.
"Probably the most important thing we have in the conversation, the most important thing that you need to hear is that we are deeply, deeply sorry for Miss Brown's loss," says Fisher.
The day after we introduced you to Brown, Fisher opens up after privacy forms were signed.
"We've had dozens of these cases over the years and have not had a single complaint," says Fisher.
In an exclusive interview with Channel 3, Brown says that after giving birth Sunday, the hospital nursing staff led her to believe she had no choice but to take him home with her.
"She came back and she told me, by him having a heartbeat that they couldn't keep him," says Melvina Brown.
The mother walked out of the hospital Sunday with her child's remains in a styrofoam cooler. She says she felt rushed to sign release papers.
"Basically, if they took more time with me while I was in the hospital things would have went a whole lot smoother," says Brown.
Brown also says the nurses were confusing and she was never advised of all her options.
"There wasn't a lot of nurses coming in and out," Fisher says. "As a matter of fact, there were no other nurses coming in and out, it was just her."
Fisher denies all those allegations saying he talked to the nurses personally.
He says she wasn't rushed, and received instruction from an experienced charge nurse.
Fisher maintains the hospital did nothing wrong, but says they have learned from this situation.
"Some reason for confusion, for whatever it was, we will endeavor from this day forward to provide an element of a social service that will be a collective list of funeral homes in the area that have agreed to take these cases," he says.
That collective list is something Brown says she never received from the Erlanger, although Fisher denies that.
Brown returned the baby to the hospital's morgue Sunday night, she says, at their urging.
Since our story aired, five funeral homes have offered their services for free.
Brown is meeting with one of those, Wednesday.
[READ MORE: Hospital sends baby's body home in a cooler]