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  • NYC disgraces 9/11 first responder at his wake

    Family of NYPD cop George Wong who died of cancer rages at city for taking body to disprove 9/11 tie

    BY KATIE NELSON, ALISON GENDAR AND RICH SCHAPIRO
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

    Originally Published:Wednesday, March 30th 2011, 2:46 PM
    Updated: Wednesday, March 30th 2011, 4:20 PM



    Dozens of cops and loved ones bid farewell Wednesday to a cancer-stricken officer whose body was ordered snatched from a funeral home by city officials, who relatives say were bent on proving he didn't die of a 9/11 related illness.

    About 120 mourners packed into the Ng Fook funeral home in Chinatown to say goodbye to George Wong, 48, who died last Thursday of gastric cancer.

    Wong's parents sat shoulder-to-shoulder during the Christian service, staring at their son's open blond wood coffin.

    Hanging above it was a white sign with a poignant message in Chinese: "Brotherhood goes deep."

    NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg did not attend the service.

    Before the service, Wong's brother ripped into the city.

    "Taking the body was very upsetting to my family," Wong's brother, Howard Wong, 40, told the Daily News. "It was disrespect. I don't want this to ever happen to any other family."

    Wong's mother, Mei Sin Wong, 73, patted her chest as she said softly, "My heart. It hurts."

    George Wong, who spent 20 years on the force before he received a disability retirement in 2006, performed security duties at Ground Zero in the wake of the terror attacks.

    His health deteriorated rapidly in recent weeks.

    After Wong passed away, his hospice doctor, Lyla Correoso, listed his cause of death as cancer from "9/11 toxic exposure."

    A wake was planned for 3 p.m. Monday at the funeral home on Mulberry St.

    But at 2:45 p.m., while the grief-stricken Wong family was inside, the funeral home received frantic calls from the Medical Examiner's office demanding they return the body to the morgue.

    The city apparently disputed the wording on the death certificate.

    The family was flabbergasted. The funeral home refused, ordering the ME's office to get the body themselves - after the Wong family's service was over.

    Officials removed the body from the funeral home at 10 p.m. Monday, forcing the Wongs to postpone the funeral service scheduled for Tuesday.

    The medical examiner's office only released the body back to the funeral home after scrubbing any mention of 9/11 from the death certificate.

    The Wong family refused to authorize an autopsy, so only an external exam was conducted.

    Mayor Bloomberg said the Medical Examiner's office was only following the letter of the law.

    "When there is a death that the death certificate says is not of natural causes, the Medical Examiner is required by law to go and to perform whatever they think is appropriate."

    Wong's hospice providers on Wednesday were still scratching their heads over the body snatch.

    "We are as mystified as the Wong family by what happened," said Richard Rothstein, of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. "The family is in incredible distress during a time when they should be getting support and care."
    It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not

  • #2
    I don't know a lot about the process, but if it's a hospice death, why is the ME's office involved at all? I would have thought it would go straight to the funeral home.

    When my grandmother died under hospice, she went directly to the funeral home (well, they picked her up!). My grandad died unexpectedly in a hospital and there was no reason, as far as I know, for the ME's office to be involved.

    When we work a questionable death, it's up to the JP to make the call of autopsy/no autopsy. But that's not what this was. Like I said, though, I don't know the ins and outs of the process - I just see them into the mortuary van and do my report.
    If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

    ---Jack Handey

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by School Cop View Post
      I don't know a lot about the process, but if it's a hospice death, why is the ME's office involved at all? I would have thought it would go straight to the funeral home.

      When my grandmother died under hospice, she went directly to the funeral home (well, they picked her up!). My grandad died unexpectedly in a hospital and there was no reason, as far as I know, for the ME's office to be involved.

      When we work a questionable death, it's up to the JP to make the call of autopsy/no autopsy. But that's not what this was. Like I said, though, I don't know the ins and outs of the process - I just see them into the mortuary van and do my report.
      You have to look at this from a 'No fault, flaming liberal city perspective'. Your family wasnt claiming your grandmother was a LODD. This mans doctor said his illness/death was a result of his service to the city. The Death Certificate stated, 'not of natural causes' which requires an ME to do an autopsy. the ME in this case seems to have given his body a once over (looking for bullet wounds?) and then scrubbed any mention of 9/11 from the COD. In short, this whole thing was a disgusting cover-up so the city wouldnt have to pay out.
      Originally posted by crass cop
      Just do it in front of a camera and try not to get a boner and you shoudl be fine.

      Comment


      • #4
        IMO this was all caused by the hospice doctor.

        Sorry but it is not the doctor's place to assume that the exposure to toxic chemicals occurred on 9/11.

        If the cause of death was "Exposure to toxic carbon monoxide gas and particulate matter in the lungs" that would be one thing. But seriously? "9/11 toxic exposure" sounds like a 15 year-old came up with it.

        IMO due to the mislabeled cause of death the ME was forced to find a more accurate explanation.

        Comment


        • #5
          http://forums.officer.com/forums/sho...taking-body...

          According to one of the comments here, he was already receiving a 3/4 pension-- wouldn't that indicate that his disability had been considered duty-related?
          We do not all come to religion over the wandering years,
          but sooner or later we all get to meet God. -- Edward Conlon

          Comment


          • #6
            9/11 toxic exposure is being more and more every month as a cause of death in my area. The hospice doctor was PO Wong's treating doctor and has a better idea of what caused his death than the ME's Office. Bloomberg just refuses to accept liability for any first responder's death from 9/11 causes. But he has no problem shelling 100K plus to some skell that got himself shot attacking two Officers.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Fëanor View Post
              IMO due to the mislabeled cause of death the ME was forced to find a more accurate explanation.
              which he/she didnt and couldnt have done w/o fully examining the body. the ME never even cut into the body per the families wishes (according to the article). no 'autopsy' was done yet the ME still scrubbed any mention of 9/11 from the record.
              Originally posted by crass cop
              Just do it in front of a camera and try not to get a boner and you shoudl be fine.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dinosaur32 View Post
                9/11 toxic exposure is being more and more every month as a cause of death in my area. The hospice doctor was PO Wong's treating doctor and has a better idea of what caused his death than the ME's Office. Bloomberg just refuses to accept liability for any first responder's death from 9/11 causes. But he has no problem shelling 100K plus to some skell that got himself shot attacking two Officers.
                Don't forget the money he spent to investigate gun show sales in other states.
                He's a POS scumbag for doing that to the family!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by School Cop View Post
                  I don't know a lot about the process, but if it's a hospice death, why is the ME's office involved at all? I would have thought it would go straight to the funeral home.

                  When my grandmother died under hospice, she went directly to the funeral home (well, they picked her up!). My grandad died unexpectedly in a hospital and there was no reason, as far as I know, for the ME's office to be involved.
                  If it's 9/11 related death, it's a homicide I believe. The ME has to determine if the cause was 9/11 or natural.
                  "Did that hurt? It looked like it hurt"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dinosaur32 View Post
                    9/11 toxic exposure is being more and more every month as a cause of death in my area. The hospice doctor was PO Wong's treating doctor and has a better idea of what caused his death than the ME's Office. Bloomberg just refuses to accept liability for any first responder's death from 9/11 causes. But he has no problem shelling 100K plus to some skell that got himself shot attacking two Officers.
                    Bingo!! Bloomy is a scumbag.....anti-LEO asshat....that should be run out out town....

                    It amazes me that NYC folks put up with his garbage.......

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That's what happens when your paid up with the right people...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If that happened to my family, heads would be rolling. Which they should be now for an inexcusable act like this...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dinosaur32 View Post
                          9/11 toxic exposure is being more and more every month as a cause of death in my area.
                          That astounds me. In today's world of science and technology, how the heck can you state "9/11 toxic exposure" without identifying the specific toxic compounds? If you can't ID the compound how can you ID where it came from? What link is there to an event 9.5 years ago? Timing? Gee, my acid reflux started around that time. It must be caused by 9/11 too.

                          Originally posted by LaPlaca
                          which he/she didnt and couldnt have done w/o fully examining the body. the ME never even cut into the body per the families wishes (according to the article). no 'autopsy' was done yet the ME still scrubbed any mention of 9/11 from the record.
                          You sure know a lot about the ME's job. Personally I'm pretty sure that if you are exposed to toxic substances it will show up in your bloodstream.

                          I'm not saying that the death wasn't caused by the man's honorable work at Ground Zero. I'm saying that if the original doctor had been more specific about the cause of death, there would not have been any room for further investigation. You're all cops so I'm sure it's not a foreign concept; if you write a crappy report, it is going to get torn to pieces as some attorney over-analyzes every word, comma, and number.
                          Last edited by Fëanor; 04-01-2011, 07:43 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It seems to me that the lynch-pin of this story is the legality of the M.E. changing the cause of death on the death certificate and what he/she used as the legal justification for his final findings.
                            If it is within the M.E's jurisdiction to change the findings, and he did so based on legally justifiable grounds, then the only problem is that he was an *** for snatching the body without concern for the family's feelings.
                            sigpic
                            Don't make me gassy.
                            You wouldn't LIKE me when I'm gassy...
                            _________________________________

                            If you're offended by something that I've said...it was just your turn.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Fëanor View Post
                              Personally I'm pretty sure that if you are exposed to toxic substances it will show up in your bloodstream.
                              They took his body AFTER it had been embalmed-- the blood was gone.

                              The hospice doc, who knew his history and had access to his blood, believed it to be 9/11 related.

                              I say it is spinach, and I say to hell with it.
                              We do not all come to religion over the wandering years,
                              but sooner or later we all get to meet God. -- Edward Conlon

                              Comment

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