Ring stolen from finger of widow (94) in hospital

Marguerite Sanderson in Blackburn Hospital
Marguerite Sanderson in Blackburn Hospital

A 94-year-old widow from Burnley has been left heartbroken after her wedding ring was stolen from her finger at Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Marguerite Sanderson, who has lived in Lowerhouse for years, was in hospital recovering from a stroke when the ring went missing.

Wedding day

Wedding day

She married her late husband, Charles, in September 1939 when she was 19. He died in 1990 aged 74 and Marguerite has not taken the ring off her finger since her wedding day.

Daughter Jean Kendall (70) says it would have been impossible for the ring to fall off by itself as her mother had a lump on her finger.

“For the ring to come off, it has to be pulled off,” said Jean.

“I went to visit her at night and the ring was still on her finger, and then when my sister came the following morning at 10am it was gone.

For the ring to come off, it has to be pulled off

Daughter Jean Kendall

“Because of the stroke, my mother can’t talk, but she’s aware of what is going on around her and can hear what people are saying.

“She knows the ring has gone missing.

“When I was talking about the ring she was looking at her finger and trying her best to talk, she’s heartbroken.”

“I’m disgusted in the hospital that it has been allowed to happen, and my mother isn’t the only victim of such a crime at this hospital.”

In May, the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times reported that a 100-year-old widow had her wedding ring stolen from her finger on the night she died.

Jean added: “You hear of things like this all the time happening at hospitals, it’s disgusting and shouldn’t be happening.

“I reported it to the police and they originally said they were investigating, but they’ve since been back in touch and told me there’s nothing they can do.”

A spokesman for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The Trust takes very seriously any allegation raised about the security of patient possessions and we have been in contact with the patient’s relatives about the loss of the ring.

“We encourage patients not to bring personal possessions with them when they come to hospital or, where it is not possible in the case of an emergency admission, to give any jewellery to the ward manager who will receipt it and store it securely.

“We will also shortly be piloting a lockable ‘patient valuable drawer’ on bedside lockers across 11 wards in the Trust which we hope will strengthen our security procedures.”