Two sisters were both horrified and relieved when they found out the man they took off life support was not their brother.
Rosie Brooks & Brenda Bennett-Johnson received a call from a social worker at Mercy Hospital in Chicago who were looking for family members of a patient, Alfonso Bennett. When Rosie revealed she was Alfonso’s sister, she was told that her brother was hospitalized in the ICU unit, hooked up to a ventilator after being badly beaten, WBBM in Chicago reports.
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The two got to the hospital but said they could not identify the injured man as their brother due to swelling and injuries on his face.
“They kept saying, ‘CPD identified this person as our brother,” Bennett-Johnson told press.
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When they asked for the hospital to run fingerprints, they were told that wasn’t possible due to budget cuts. Instead, the staff opted to identify the victim through photos “You don’t identify a person through a mugshot versus fingerprints,” Bennett-Johnson said of the fallible decision.
“Fingerprints carries everything.”
As the man’s condition deteriorated, the sisters made the decision to take him off life support. The John Doe was moved into hospice and died shortly after.
But then the story takes a cruel twist. While the Bennetts were making funeral arrangements–buying a casket and a suit for their late brother–another sister called and said the real Alfonso just walked through the front door.
“She called my sister Yolanda to say, ‘It’s a miracle! It’s a miracle!’” said Brooks of the moment.
“‘Brenda! Brenda! It’s Alfonso! It’s Alfonso! I said, ‘You’re kidding!’ I could have almost had a heart attack,” Bennett-Johnson said.
Turns out, the sisters unknowingly made a life altering decision for a man they didn’t know.
“It’s sad it happened like that,” Johnson said of the tragic incident. “If it was our brother, and we had to go through that, that would have been a different thing. But we made all kinds of decisions on someone who wasn’t our family.”
Since the news broke, the man has now been identified at the morgue through his fingerprints. His name has not been released.
This story was originally reported on madamenoire.com.
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