Rings stolen at hospital

Marlene McGurk, of Weeton Avenue South Shore, who claims that her jewellery, including items of great sentimental value, were stolen while she was in the Royal Blackburn Hospital.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'5-12-2012
Marlene McGurk, of Weeton Avenue South Shore, who claims that her jewellery, including items of great sentimental value, were stolen while she was in the Royal Blackburn Hospital. PIC BY ROB LOCK'5-12-2012
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AN elderly woman has been left devastated after a thief stole irreplaceable jewellery from the hospital ward she was staying in.

Distraught Marlene McGuirk’s wedding and engagement rings were taken from her bag as she underwent surgery for suspected cancer.

The 77-year-old, from Weeton Avenue, South Shore, is now making a good recovery – but has been left heartbroken at the loss of the jewellery.

Mrs McGuirk said: “I‘ve had two engagement rings, two weddings rings and two necklaces with a beautiful pendant stolen.

“I was first married in 1955 and the ring has been on my finger since then, it’s four inches wide and it’s quite heavy, pure gold.

“My husband died in 2007 and then I found Michael in 2009 and got married again, and his rings have gone as well. And my beautiful solid gold crucifix has gone. I can’t believe somebody could take my beautiful things.”

Mrs McGuirk had been admitted to Royal Blackburn Hospital for keyhole surgery to remove what doctors suspected was a cancerous growth.

She said her jewellery was only on the premises because a nurse assured Mr McGuirk he did not need to take it home for her.

She added: “After my operation I got home so exhausted I went to bed, but the next morning I looked in my bag and my jewellery had gone.”

Mrs McGuirk’s lump turned out to be a cyst, but losing her jewellery has turned her relief into devastation.

The theft has been reported to police.

A spokesman for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The Trust is undertaking a full investigation into the allegation and a PALS officer is in the process of contacting Mrs McGuirk following her contact with them.”