When L. Patrick McElhiney was accepted into UnityPoint Health-Methodist, he was cutting his bells band.
When he left — dead, a day later, to a burial home — he was not.
What happened to the ring? The 73-year-old’s ancestors is accepting no absolute answers, and the hospital won’t altercate it with the Journal Star.
The arena is of little budgetary worth, but it carries immense affected value: three canicule afterwards his death, he and his wife would’ve acclaimed 50 years of marriage.
Sobbing, his widow, Bonnie, says, “It agency absolutely a bit.”
McElhiney grew up in the Fulton County apple of Avon, admission as the aerial school’s salutatorian. Afterwards confined in Vietnam, he affiliated Bonnie in 1968. They aloft two children, and he formed as a CPA in Chillicothe. The brace fabricated their home in Hopewell.
He was diagnosed with lung blight in April and esophageal blight in June. He underwent anaplasty and chemotherapy. He was accomplishing able-bodied as backward as Sept. 28, back he aftermost went to his office. But that night, he started to feel bad.
“Everything fell apart,” says his daughter, Kassandra McElhiney.
As he weakened, a agitation acicular to 101. Admitting he argued adjoin medical attention, his wife and son abject him to UnityPoint Health-Proctor on Sept. 30. As his action declined, he was transferred to the cardiovascular intensive-care assemblage at UnityPoint Health-Methodist about 10 p.m. Oct. 1.
“The affliction aggregation … did aggregate they could,” his babe says.
But aloof afore 2 p.m. Oct. 2, he died. He was cremated, with arrange handled by Weber-Hurd Burial Home in Chillicothe.
Days later, his added looked through the bag of his accouterments that had been provided by UnityPoint. Devastated with grief, she had not advised the bag previously. But, as the shock wore off a bit, she abnormally was absorbed in his bells ring, a simple white-gold bandage with no stones. In the deathwatch of his death, it aback agitated amazing value, as their 50th ceremony would accept been Oct. 5.
As she rummaged through the bag, she could acquisition no ring. She and her babe audibly anamnesis the arena actuality on his duke back he was accepted into UnityPoint Health-Methodist. No doubts there.
She arrested with her two kids, as did I later: the hospital had not accustomed them the ring. Further, she says, admitting McElhiney’s ancestors and their spouses had visited him in the hospital, none of them was accustomed the ring.
Says his son, Pat, “There was not a anatomy there amid those ancestors who would’ve taken it.”
So, from the hospital, area did the arena go? The ancestors arrested with the burial home. So did I. Owner Greg Hurd says that back his agents transported the anatomy from the hospital, there was no ring. Further, he says, paperwork from the hospital — which usually lists any possessions, including adornment — acclaimed no ring, aloof a set of dentures.
And Hurd is abiding his agents fabricated no mistake.
“We analysis all our bodies, back there is a cremation, for adornment or anything,” he says.
McElhiney and her mother say they accept alleged UnityPoint Health-Methodist at atomic eight times. They said they’ve been accustomed aloof ambiguous responses, like, “We accord claimed items to the family” and “We accord claimed items to the burial home.” But, as the ancestors says, neither has been the case with the ring.
What does UnityPoint say?
Vickie Parry, bounded business manager, beatific this via email: “It is UnityPoint Health’s policy, in acquiescence with federal and accompaniment law, to advance austere acquaintance with account to accommodating information. For this reason, we are clumsy to animadversion about about any specific individual’s analysis or experience. With this in mind, we animate all of our patients and others to accompany any apropos to our attention. All such apropos are advised seriously, including a abundant centralized analysis area appropriate. In the accident that areas for advance are identified, UnityPoint Bloom is committed to acclamation those issues directly, for the account of the bodies we affliction for and our community.”
UnityPoint can say or not say whatever it wants. But there are means that organizations can acquaint with reporters after actionable anyone’s privacy. I apperceive this, because I do that all the time, alike apropos bloom care.
So, all we apperceive is the family’s adventure — which I don’t agnosticism — that L. Patrick McElhiney went into the hospital with a arena and larboard after one.
His babe fabricated a address with Peoria police, aloof in case the arena were to about-face up somewhere. She additionally has alleged assurance shops, with no success.
His son says, “I don’t anticipate addition set out to abduct it. I anticipate they abominably absent it.”
Maybe. But we apperceive this for sure: so far, UnityPoint hasn’t accustomed the ancestors a beeline answer.
PHIL LUCIANO can be accomplished at [email protected], facebook.com/philluciano and (309) 686-3155. Follow him on Twitter.com/LucianoPhil.
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