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A day with the dead: Working with corpses

Garth Wright is a technician at the Waikato DHB mortuary at Waikato Hospital.

Photo credit: MARK TAYLOR/FAIRFAX NZ. Caption: Garth Wright is a technician at the Waikato DHB mortuary at Waikato Hospital.

In the visiting room, Garth Wright will lay a colourful blanket over the sterile hospital sheet that covers a corpse. It sounds silly, he says, but it makes the person look warm and comfortable.

Before family arrive at the Waikato Hospital mortuary, he smooths any pain out of the face.

He leaves the curtains drawn and the door to the visiting room open to reduce the shock for the visitors. He welcomes them into the square little room and beckons them to sit next to the body. He says, “You can touch them, they’re clean,” and watches as they hold hands for the last time.

Read the full story on Stuff. 

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