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Hospital Digs Up Tennessee Patient Buried with Wrong Teeth

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In The News

It seems they shared more than a hospital room: A Tennessee man's body is being exhumed to remove dentures belonging to another man after a mix-up at Parkridge Medical Center hospital in Chattanooga. One (dead) man's got an extra set of teeth. One live patient, well, that's debatable.

Parkridge Medical Center is paying to have someone literally dug up, after 76-year-old Kenneth Ray Manis was buried without his own teeth. The man's body is being exhumed from Chattanooga's National Cemetery after family learned dentures don't belong to him. Apparently Manis shared a hospital room with an intensive care patient, the real owner of those false teeth.

Manis passed away earlier in the month, the dentures were among personal items placed inside his coffin. The family, understandably, isn't happy about someone else's teeth being buried with their deceased.

ABC affiliate WCTV received a prime quote from the man's wife, Phyliss Manis, who says: "My husband is laying in his grave with this other man's teeth and I just couldn't let it be that way. I knew my husband wouldn't want it that way."

Perhaps the husband may have been less concerned -- should he have had the opportunity to respond to such a strange question and the circumstances -- about a set of "teeth" laid to rest with him, than his body being physically dug up out of the ground. Of the two, one option seems a bit more peaceful.

But his wife isn't having it: Phyliss Manis says "the other gentleman...doesn't want the teeth back", probably a very accurate statement, but maybe Mr. Manis isn't quite so concerned.

It wasn't the hospital itself that discovered the re-allocated dentures. Mrs. Manis discovered a set of dentures in belongings provided to her by the hospital. That's when the wife realized something was awry: Her husband had (supposedly) been buried with his false set.

Parkridge Medical Center hospital in Tennessee has apologized. The medical facility is offering to pay for new dentures, reburial costs and attorney's fees -- but the hospital is refusing to identify the patient who lost those dentures. Of course every hospital would cite patient privacy as the reason for not releasing the true owner. Or, it could be the patient with a missing set of "teeth" -- or the family -- isn't entirely aware of the situation yet.

Parkridge Medical Center might consider more fully addressing how a set of false teeth wound up with a dead man. But more importantly, the hospital may wish to explain how the live patient has been eating since those "teeth" went missing June 12.


Parkridge Medical Center
2333 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga , TN 37404-3258
United States
Phone: (423) 698-6061
35° 2' 4.7976" N, 85° 16' 2.4564" W
Chattanooga National Cemetery
1200 Bailey Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37404-2805
United States
Phone: (423) 855-6590
35° 2' 13.3476" N, 85° 17' 7.6848" W
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