Family’s heartbreak after gran’s wedding rings ‘stolen’ as she lay dying in hospital
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A gran who was in hospital weeks before her death had her wedding and engagement rings stolen, claim her family.
Rose Roach had spent three weeks in the Royal Stoke University Hospital where she was sadly diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
The 92-year-old was then moved to a hospice where she passed away, reports Birmingham Mail.
Police are now investigating the alleged theft of the gold, diamond and ruby-encrusted rings which Mrs Roach's family claim were stolen during her stay.
Granddaughter Laura Hassett, 33, said: "When she first went into the hospital we knew she had her rings on.
Rose Roach and her husband Patrick in 2013, they both sadly passed away this year
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"Then on August 29 we were all called in for an end of life care talk and we were asking staff, 'Where are her rings?'.
"They said they maybe took them off because of scans and would double-check the other wards that she had been on.
"But no one could find anything."
She added: "Nana was 92 and in any pictures you can see she's got very slim fingers. But her knuckles were swollen because she also suffered from a condition called Myasthenia Gravis, which is an auto-immune disease.
"Because of this she got arthritic knuckles and her fingers were quite bent and gnarled up. She couldn't even open a bag of crisps, she couldn't grip that.
"So there's no physical way on earth she's removed those rings of her own accord. She wouldn't have been able to get it past the knuckle.
Mrs Roach, 92, went into hospital with her engagement and wedding rings on but her family claim they were stolen
"Whoever removed them would have had to use some sort of lubricant and it would have probably hurt her, removing it as well."
The family reported the alleged theft.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: "On November 11, 2020, we received a report claiming two rings had been stolen from the hand of a vulnerable patient at Royal Stoke Hospital.
"It's believed they were taken sometime between 10th and 16th August. An investigation is underway."
It's understood pictures of the rings are being circulated to local pawn shops.
Mrs Roach's granddaughter says there is no way her grandmother would've been able to remove her rings herself
The family have also lodged a complaint with PALS (|Patient Advisory Liaison Service) about the missing rings.
Laura, who also lost her father-in-law in April to cancer, said: "We logged a formal complaint with PALS.
"They carried out a thorough investigation but there was no real conclusion from it.
"It just sickens me."
The family is now appealing to anyone who may have been offered the gold wedding ring or gold engagement ring, which is inlaid with rubies and diamonds.
Laura added: "Her rings were hugely important to her. My grandad gave them to her and she loved them.
"If anyone has gone to a pawn shop or somewhere and bought the rings, not knowing what's gone on behind this, then we would ask them to get in touch with Staffordshire Police who will be investigating. We would ask anyone who knows anything to get in touch with police."
Michelle Rhodes, UHNM Chief Nurse, of Royal Stoke University Hospitalt, said: “We would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family of Mrs Roach for their sad loss.
“We recognise the importance and personal value of patient’s belongings and we are sorry for any distress this incident has caused the patient’s family.
“A full investigation has taken place but, unfortunately, we have been unable to establish what happened to her rings.
“We have recently reviewed our patient property policy to ensure we have tightened our processes and procedures to facilitate the safe keep and return of patient valuables in the future .”
Anyone with information about the rings is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 170 of 11 November or call CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.