A Winnipeg woman is desperately trying to find her husband’s wedding band after she says it disappeared either sometime before or after he died in hospital last week.
“Losing my husband was hard enough, but knowing that someone violated him after he passed away makes it even worse,” said Karen Milne-Murray, whose husband Jim died after being diagnosed with lung cancer and also contracting COVID-19.
Karen’s husband was first admitted to the Health Sciences Centre in March, but stayed until mid-April after coming down with COVID-19 in hospital.
She said hospital staff kept moving Jim “from place to place” and he had already lost his runners, hoodie, jeans and some cash during his initial stay.
Jim was discharged from the hospital and sent back home with home care, where Karen said he was able to spend some time with his family.
“We got to be together — we joked that after everything that he had been through, his wedding ring still fit, so I know with all that I am that it did not just fall off somewhere,” she said.
But Jim was only home for 10 days before having to return to hospital to resume treatment.
Despite plans to have Jim return home for palliative treatment, he died on May 4.
“I was in a state of shock,” Karen said.
Because of COVID-19 protocols at the hospital, Karen said she had to insist on having her niece take her to the clinic to see Jim one last time.
The hospital moved Jim back to his room so the family could say their last goodbyes, but only one person was allowed to go in at a time.
Karen said it was an uncomfortable situation because he was in a shared room, so she wasn’t able to gather all of her husband’s personal items at that moment.
It was later that night she realized she didn’t have Jim’s wedding ring with the rest of his belongings.
She says she checked with the funeral home, but was told he hadn’t arrived with his ring.
She also reached out to HSC to explain the situation and ask them to check with all of their staff to see if anyone had any information about it.
Shared Health told Global News they are looking into the situation.
Karen said she had talked to Jim while he was at the hospital, and she’s sure he would’ve told her the ring was missing, if he had noticed.
“I feel like we have suffered enough loss for a lifetime and losing his ring was one last kick while we are down,” she said.
Karen has since filed a report with Winnipeg police and said she’s still waiting to hear back from investigators.
Winnipeg Police said the investigation is ongoing.
In the meantime she’s hopeful someone from the hospital can help her find the ring.
“I would happily accept the ring back, no questions asked,” she said.
“It means everything to me.”