By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -
It is hard enough to lose a loved one, but now an Overland Park man is dealing with the possibility that someone stole his mother's wedding band from her body right after she died.
Dane Weller shared a special bond with his mother, Vicki Weller.
He suffered a devastating spinal cord injury a few years back. Doctors said he would never walk again. His mother took exception to that.
"She is the one that encouraged me ... wouldn't let me give up. I'm walking again," Weller said.
So when his mother started suffering from kidney failure, he was right by her side.
He assumed the role of her primary caretaker and drove her to every early-morning dialysis appointment.
Unfortunately, her health took a turn for the worse, and she was admitted to St. Luke's South earlier this month.
Before her death last Sunday, she asked her son to do one last thing. She wanted him to make sure her first born granddaughter received her wedding band, to serve as a lasting memory of their relationship.
"It is not a good feeling. People understand when they lose people they love they want to carry out their wishes, and I can't do that," Dane Weller said,
He can't do that because he says the wedding band has gone missing.
Dane Weller says his mother was wearing the band while in the hospital. Her fingers were too swollen for him to remove it.
A nurse told him it would remain with her body until it was handed over to the Cremation Society of Kansas who would then return all her belongings.
But documents show inventory taken after death by St. Luke's staff do not list any jewelry. Once the body was turned over, the crematory's only listing under personal effects is a bag of belongings, which Dane Weller says that was just clothing.
So he has filed a police report, furious that a priceless family heirloom has gone missing.
The hospital provided the following statement:
"Saint Luke's hospitals have procedures in place to minimize the loss of patient personal items while hospitalized. We are in the process of researching the events surrounding the missing item in question and are in communication with the family as we work to find answers and resolve the matter."
Dane Weller is hoping this is all an innocent mistake and that the wedding band will turn up, but he also knows there is another possible explanation and now has a message for anyone that might know where this ring is.
"(It) doesn't mean anything to you. It means everything to our family. Would you please put it somewhere and let somebody find it. It's just wrong what you did," Dane Weller said.
The Cremation Society of Kansas said the ring was never with the body when it was handed over by the hospital. They also said they follow very strict guidelines to try and prevent things like this from ever happening.
Dane Weller said he wants everyone to know that the doctors and nurses who cared for his mother did a great job and were very respectful.
But he says something needs to be done to find the ring.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
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