Parents feel more pain after losing daughter
A GRIEVING mother is upset at being charged extra for a memorial of her baby who died at just four months old, claiming she wasn't told of the additional costs until the keepsake was ready to be collected.
Danieka McLaren said the pain of losing tiny daughter Willow had been compounded when she discovered a "bereavement" charge had been added to the cost of the baby's hand and foot plaque because she had died.
Miss McLaren told the NewsMail she woke to find Willow had stopped breathing on July 20, leaving the shocked family with many questions from the sudden death.
This is when sister-in-law Jamie Scott stepped in to help preserve the memory of little Willow, by contacting Impressionable Kids Bundaberg/Gladstone and organising for hand and foot sculptures to be taken as a keepsake.
"The day Willow passed away I phoned and spoke with a lady named Anna from Impressionable Kids to see if they did deceased children," Miss Scott said.
"She advised they did, and if I could arrange a time and place and let her know she would meet us at the mortuary.
"The mortuary advised me it was best to wait until Willow went to the funeral home, and that is what I organised with Michelle from Impressionable Kids here."
Miss Scott paid a $150 deposit after making the arrangements.
Miss McLaren said she and Willow's father, Trent Palmby, met Michelle at the funeral home, where Michelle took moulds of Willow's hands and feet, along with a handprint and footprint on paper so her parents could have them tattooed at a later date.
"After the cost of the funeral, we saved enough money to collect Willow's framed hands and feet," Miss McLaren said.
"Last Friday, Michelle contacted me to let me know it was ready for collection and there would be an outstanding amount of $270 owing.
"I asked if she took off the deposit paid by my sister-in-law and she said there was a price difference because it was for a bereavement service."
Miss McLaren said she then looked on the website and saw the pricing for the item she wanted - two hands and two feet along with a photo in a frame, at a cost of $220, plus $50 for the paper prints.
She said she was "disgusted" when she realised the company had charged her an extra $150 because her daughter was no longer alive.
"I paid $420 in total when I thought it would be only $220 plus $50 for the prints," Miss McLaren said.
"I instantly felt sick to my stomach.
"It was like they didn't tell us from the start and now we have been surprised with it and there is nothing we can do because Willow isn't with us anymore."
Impressionable Kids director Jacquie Ismalun said the Bundaberg franchisee, Michelle Rieck, had advised Miss Scott in a phone message the price of a bereavement frame.
Miss McLaren said this was not the case, and Miss Scott added she had not received any information on pricing because Willow's family had not yet decided what product they wanted at the time she made the arrangements at the funeral home.
Impressionable Kids explained the bereavement charge to the NewsMail, saying there was a callout fee involved and extra moulds were taken due to the circumstances of not being able to be flexible with returning to take more moulds if needed.
The NewsMail also asked to see evidence of a text message, but it could not be located.