A British anesthetist, who accidentally left her diamond ring in the pocket of her scrubs while working in a hospital in West Suffolk and then at the end of her shift dropped the protective garment in the laundry, was surprised to learn that the ring reemerged five days later, 100 miles away at a hospital in London.
Dr. Radhika Ramasamy explained how she put the ring — a birthday gift from her husband — in the pocket of her scrubs before giving a patient a spinal anesthetic at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust in Bury St Edmunds.
“I meant to put the ring back on afterwards, but ended up doing another procedure and forgot about it,” Dr. Ramasamy said in a press release. “It wasn’t until the evening of the next day that I realized it was missing and then it was the weekend, so I didn’t report it to my facilities team till the Monday. To be honest, I never expected to get it back as I thought it would be crushed in the machinery at the laundry.”
Flash forward five days and nearly 100 miles southwest on the M11 motorway where we find Suraj Shah, an anesthetics registrar based at London’s Royal Free Hospital (RFH), getting ready for his ICU shift by donning a freshly laundered pair of scrubs.
“As I put the scrubs on something clattered to the floor and a colleague spotted the ring and alerted me,” Shah noted. “At first I thought maybe one of the nurses here had lost the ring and I put the word out through the nurse in charge. I checked with the doctors, as well, but nothing, so I contacted our facilities team.”
Shah was deeply touched by the gravity of the situation.
“I knew how downhearted my wife would be if she’d lost a ring that had sentimental value to her so that was in the back of my mind,” he added. “As healthcare workers, we often take off rings for procedures so it’s an easy mistake to make.”
The RFH facilities team contacted the commercial laundry about the newly found ring and, by good fortune, there was a match as Ramasamy had reported it missing just days earlier.
Amazingly, the delicate diamond ring was able to endure the high-powered agitation of the commercial washers and the extreme tumbling of its dryers — all while remaining tucked in the pocket.
A reunion was quickly arranged and Ramasamy couldn’t have been more pleased with the colleagues and professional staff who made it happen.
“I’m so happy to have it returned,” she said. “It just shows how honest people are and I want to say a huge thank you to all the people involved — my end at the West Suffolk Hospital and at the Royal Free Hospital — in reuniting me with a ring that has real sentimental value to me as it was a birthday present from my husband a few years ago.”
“I know it’s been an incredible team effort,” she continued, “and I am so appreciative of how so many people have gone the extra mile to track me down and return it to me.”
At RFH, Shah said, “It’s nice to feel part of a bit of a little miracle. I’m delighted the ring has been reunited with Radhika.”
Credit: Image courtesy of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.