James Potten, a resident from Bristol, England, was anxiously waiting for his Kindle e-reader to be delivered to his home by FedEx, but got the shock of his life when he received a human tumor sample in the mail instead. He apparently ordered the waterproof e-reader from a company called Waterfi.
According to The Bristol Post, the specimen was supposed to be sent over to the Royal Free Hospital in London, but somehow it was delivered to Potten’s residence by mistake.
“It’s human DNA, I would have thought that there would have been a quicker response from FedEx. I am surprised that they haven’t been more concerned about it. They keep telling me I’ve got my Kindle, but I obviously haven’t,” Potten stated in an interview with the BBC.
In a recent statement, Royal Free hospital said that the package “intended for one of its institutions… was delivered to an address in Bristol.”
— Caroline Johnstone (@carolinedj13) January 10, 2016
Apparently, FedEx accidentally mixed up the tracking number on the Kindle package as well as the parcel that contained the non-infectious human tumor sample. The box containing the Kindle e-reader had the same first two and last three digits just like the specimen.
After receiving the surprise package, Potten requested a worker from FedEx to return back to his home to retrieve the specimen’s contents. “I’ve been trying to get FedEx to collect it as it is potentially a sample that needs to be tested and sent back with some urgency,” he said.
The company called Mr. Potten on Thursday claiming that a worker tried delivering the package earlier in the day, but he wasn’t home at the time. In regards to the package, it was never opened at all.
A spokesperson for FedEx stated that the company “will consider future changes to our processes.” The company has since apologized for the mistake and said that an incident like this will never happen again.
According to The Huffington Post, there was a green paper seal that was wrapped around the package’s contents and read, “Specimen return kit — Patient tumor specimen enclosed.”
“My name was on the outside, but the contents weren’t what I expected,” the young man told the BBC about his special delivery.
Potten, who currently works for an environmental consultancy firm, believes that shipping the sample contents back to its original destination was considered to be an important matter. “Presumably this is a very important package that needs to get to the hospital as soon as possible,” he said to the BBC.
— James Potten (@jamespotten) January 9, 2016
On Sunday, Potten posted a tweet stating that the tumor sample was being delivered to its rightful destination. In the meantime, the Kindle that he had been anxiously waiting for, finally arrived the very next day.
— James Potten (@jamespotten) January 11, 2016
[Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]