Hospital mail mix-up sends ‘Survivor Day’ invites to kids who died from cancer

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is apologizing for sending an invitation for Cancer Survivor Day to at least one family who lost a child to cancer. 

A spokesperson said the hospital is still trying to figure out how it happened, attributing the mix-up to “clerical error.” 

Holley Wade, who lives in Tampa, said the letter grabbed her attention immediately as she grabbed the mail Monday. The envelope from All Children’s was addressed to her son Daniel. 

“I open it up, and find out it’s a celebration for surviving a disease he succumbed to,” Wade explained. 

The letter was an invitation for Daniel and their family to the annual survivor’s celebration June 2nd at Tropicana Field. Daniel died in 2006 after battling a brain tumor for two and a half years at All Children’s. 

“At first it was disbelief, and then it was just pure nausea,” Wade described opening the envelope. 

Wade says the only correspondence she otherwise receives from the hospital is an invite to its annual memorial event for kids like Daniel who lost their cancer battle. Angry and confused, she lashed out on social media. 

“Clearly mistakes were made,” she said. “It was very upsetting.” 

All Children’s has not offered an explanation for why the erroneous invites went out but did issue this apology Monday night:

“We are very sorry to learn about this clerical error. Our staff are working to understand how this  occurred. We have checks and rechecks in place to ensure something like this doesn’t happen, but our team is devastated to learn that our system failed in this case. We are reaching out personally to express our apologies and deep disappointment about this situation.”

Considering how long it’s been since her son passed, Wade fears her family isn’t the only one that received the invite in error. 

All Children’s was not able to say on Monday if the mistake was a widespread or isolated issue. 
 

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