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YOU ASK. WE INVESTIGATE. Woman says hospital lost her jewelry

Posted at 7:31 PM, Oct 14, 2016
A trip to the hospital ended with one woman heartbroken, but not for the reason you might suspect.
 
She says the hospital lost several pairs of earrings during her visit and is not taking responsibility for it.
 
For Tracy Shea, going to the hospital for an emergency wasn't only traumatic, it was emotional. 
 
Coworkers took her to Mountain View Hospital on Sept. 23, when she started showing stroke symptoms.
 
"As I'm having these symptoms, I'm all hooked up, and they came to me and told me I had to take my earrings out," said Shea.
 
She had seven earrings in and says hospital staff told her they would all need to taken out before she could get an MRI.
 
"I told them, 'No I'm not taking them out because I just had over $20,000 worth of jewelry stolen from me,'" Shea said.
 
Shea says someone used a stolen garage door opener to get in her home and stole all the jewelry she wasn't wearing. 
 
Eventually she agreed to take the earrings out and says they were put in a red biohazard bag. That was the last time she saw those earrings.
 
"I got home and couldn't find my stuff, so I immediately called the hospital and they said, 'We don't have it down here in the security,'" said Shea. "I figured because they put it in a biohazard bag it probably got thrown away."
 
Shea said she spoke with a patient advocate from the hospital.
 
"She told me that because they put it in a biohazard bag, she felt some responsibility," Shea said.
 
But then, she says the patient advocate changed their tune.
 
"She left a voicemail saying, 'Sorry we're not going to take responsibility for it. We couldn't find your things and we're not going to take responsibility,'" said Shea.
 
What hurts Shea the most is those earrings were the only things left from her parents who passed away because her other jewelry was stolen.
 
"The last things I had," she said. "That was it, that was all I had left, that was all I had left."
 
13 Action News reached out the hospital to find out what happened to Shea's earrings. 
 
They sent us the following statement:
 
"We do investigate each allegation of lost belongings reported to us and address accordingly based on that investigation. We strongly encourage all visitors and patients to leave their valuables at home."
 
However, that statement does not address what happened to Shea, particularly considering she was taken to the hospital for an emergency medical issue and could not have left her earrings at home. 
 
We followed up, but the hospital gave us another generic response, saying:
 
"We cannot comment on specific patients' cases. When people come through the emergency room, if they have valuables that need to be secured the staff (or patient if able) alert security. The valuables are then documented and secured."
 
After 13 Action News got that statement, we asked twice if they would comment on Shea's situation if she signed a HIPPA release form, but they continued with the canned statements, never apologizing or taking any responsibility.
 
"The point is, is these things were given to me by people who are no longer in my life and I've lost everything from losing my parents," she said. "It just, it can't be replaced."