THE grieving husband of Savita Halappanavar had to wait for three days for her body to be released after her death because there was no one available to carry out a post-mortem.
Mr Halappanavar's friends say the delay caused extra trauma and suffering for both him and Savita's family, who were not told when they could take her body home to India.
The young woman died in the early hours of Sunday, October 28.
However, the Irish Independent has learnt that her body remained in University Hospital Galway until Tuesday because the hospital had no one to carry out a post-mortem over the bank holiday weekend.
"Praveen had been hoping to get the post-mortem done as quickly as possible so he could take Savita home. The hospital would only tell us that they could not do it because they didn't have the staff. It was only on Tuesday morning that anything started to move," said a close friend.
Friends from the Indian community in Galway were on hand to help Praveen organise the necessary travel arrangements, however, they were helpless until Savita's body was finally released.
"He had to wait from Saturday night until Tuesday afternoon to have Savita's body released. It was a big hardship for him. No one was telling him when the post-mortem would be done. It was more trauma for Praveen and nobody knew what to tell Savita's family in India.
"They wanted to know when they would have her body back but we couldn't tell them," said Harshad Holehonnur.
When Savita's remains were eventually released, friends assisted the grief stricken widower with the final arrangements.
Mr Halappanavar's bosses in Boston Scientific helped in organising the flights.
"There was a lot of paperwork. So it was Thursday evening before we could get them back to India.
"We had a little service on Wednesday to remember Savita," added Mr Holehonnur.