Rings back with family – nearly 30 years later

Rings (inset) were discovered in a ledger at Douglas Memorial Hospital in Fort Erie recently and returned to the family almost 30 years later.

Vaughn Wilson admits he was shocked when he received a recent phone call from Niagara Health’s Douglas Memorial Site in Fort Erie.

The Tonawanda, N.Y., resident hadn’t been to Fort Erie since 1988, when his grandmother, Violet, passed away at Douglas Memorial.

On the other end of the phone line was Karen Pietrangelo, Manager Patient Registration and Health Information at Douglas Memorial and Greater Niagara General in Niagara Falls. Karen had some surprising news for Vaughn: She had found two rings belonging to his grandmother in a vault and wanted to make sure they were returned to Violet’s family.

“It’s was surprising, especially after all these years,” says Vaughn. “I’m very glad to see they came back this way. It meant a lot. It was very humbling. It was very nice of them to find me.”

Karen discovered the rings when she was cleaning out an archive area at Douglas Memorial. She moved a giant ledger and found the two rings in an envelope, which included the patient’s information and family contact phone number. Working with Douglas Memorial Health Records Clerk Kate Gardiner, Karen checked the phone number online and discovered it still belonged to a Wilson in Tonawanda, N.Y.

Returning the rings to Vaughn was a wonderful experience and highlight of her 29-year healthcare career.

“I told Vaughn that perhaps his grandmother was waiting to make sure the rings go to the right person at the right time,” says Karen. “The story touched the staff here at Douglas Memorial and we’re all delighted it came to a fantastic end.”

Source – Steven Gallagher, Niagara Health Communications



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