Parents angry Indiana State Department of Health sent letters to deceased children

State health dept sent 43,000 immunization letters

GREENWOOD, Ind. - Some parents are upset with the state after receiving notifications from the Indiana State Department of Health concerning their deceased children.

The ISDH sent out 43,000 letters to parents of children up to 57 months of age notifying them that their children were behind on required immunizations, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported.

But the mailing list included several parents of children who had died, including Linda Luong of Greenwood, who lost her son, Luke, in August 2010 to a chromosomal abnormality.

"It's just shocking because this child has been passed for two years," she said. "It kind of really caught me off guard and was like a sucker punch to the gut."

The Indiana State Department of Health is the same agency that handles death certificates.

Luong shared her story on Facebook and found other grieving Hoosier parents from a support group who mistakenly received the same immunization letter.

"If they're sending out these letters, how many other grieving mothers have gotten these?" Luong asked. "I just really hope to save parents from going through this in the future."

The Indiana State Department of Health did not return phone calls from RTV6. A statement did not acknowledge a mistake.

"The data was matched against Indiana death records three times prior to mailing," the statement from ISDH spokeswoman Amy Reel read. "Through that process, over 300 children's names were excluded from the mailing of approximately 43,000."

It's unclear how many families received letters for deceased children.

The Call 6 Investigators passed on Luong's information to the Indiana State Department of Health to have Luke's name removed from their immunization mailing list.

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