In the majority of states, contents of the womb prior to 20 weeks of gestation are generally handled as “medical waste.” Maegan Mackenzie of Lafayette, N.J., was just shy of this mark when her doctor told her there was a problem with her pregnancy, and that her child was not going to make it.
Krew McCoy Drew, her unborn baby, would not be classified as such. The mother and her fiance, Hobie Drew, wanted him cremated. Together with Mackenzie’s mother, Maryann Woods, they were determined to make this happen.
It did, thanks to an “angel” who came into their lives named Alexis Horvath.
She’s the president and manager of Pinkel Funeral Home in Sussex, and she embraced Krew’s story as if he, his parents, and his grandmother were family. She was determined not only to facilitate the cremation but to also get him blessed and christened.
Mackenzie learned that her pregnancy was not viable from her doctor, who practices in Passaic County, and that surgery was the best option. At this point, the couple decided they wanted to birth the baby’s remains and have him cremated.
“On July 1st I was told over the phone by the doctor’s wife ‘absolutely not,’” Mackenzie said. “She said that it was impossible to do. In order to have a baby cremated, the baby needed to be whole, and she knew that wouldn’t happen. She also mentioned that they only allowed one cremation due to Greek religious beliefs.”
Following her appointment with the doctor on July 7, she said she expressed her wishes, and he agreed to have the baby cremated.
“As we were speaking, his wife was being very rude and jumped into our conversation shouting, telling me it cannot be done,” Mackenzie said. “I told both the doctor and his wife that my mother already spoke with Pinkel Funeral Home, and they told her they will do it no matter how the baby came out, whatever we wanted. Pinkel is a local family-owned funeral home, located in Sussex, that I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about and decided to have my mother give them a call on July 1st.”
Krew is blessed
Mackenzie had the surgery on July 8 at Chilton Hospital. She was then told that the baby could not be cremated.
“The doctor filled out a medical waste form instead of a death certificate,” she said. “He completely disregarded what we had spoken and agreed to. Thankfully Chilton Hospital called (Horvath) to make sure this is what we wanted because our wishes were previously communicated to the nursing staff at Chilton and everyone else involved.”
Thanks to the family’s insistence and Horvath’s persistence, the baby was cremated on July 15, a week later.
“On the way to his cremation, baby Krew was taken to a church by Pinkel Funeral Home, where he was not only blessed but christened,” Woods said.
Horvath said she called St. Monica Roman Catholic Church in Sussex, and that Father Jan held a service for the baby.
“My fiancé and I couldn’t have done this without the help of Alexis,” Mackenzie said. “She was determined to make sure that Krew McCoy Drew had the proper cremation that he deserved. We are forever thankful for her.”
Pinkel Funeral Home has established a reputation for compassion.
“Most people will tell you that they gain a friend once they deal with me,” Horvath said. “And I really love my profession and helping people the best that I can. My father always felt a great satisfaction in helping people, and I have completely followed in his footsteps. My heart went out to Krew’s family, and I wanted to offer the emotional support that they needed at this horrible time. It was devastating enough to have the doctor and his office be so emotionally disconnected. The family needed to know that someone honest and sincere was there willing and determined to follow through with their final wishes for their baby. I am grateful that I was able to guide and comfort them during this time.”
This family will never forget Horvath and Pinkel.
“Her attention and compassion towards us was amazing,” said Woods. “Sometimes people just come into your life for a reason. She is most certainly one of those people.”
“On July 1st I was told over the phone by the doctor’s wife ‘absolutely not.’ She said that it was impossible to do. In order to have a baby cremated, the baby needed to be whole, and she knew that wouldn’t happen.” --Maegan Mackenzie