Wisconsin family grieving after hospital loses deceased loved one's personal effects

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Wisconsin family grieving the loss of a loved one says the hospital where she died lost all her personal effects.

They say the headache is adding to their pain, and they want to warn other families to be prepared.

Pam Hart's family has struggled to process and grieve her death, which came quickly a few weeks ago due to COVID-19. But now they're facing another type of loss: her credit cards, bank accounts, passwords, and jewelry.

Marilyn Schultz is Pam Hart's sister. She said, "So her complete identity is missing."

It wasn't supposed to end up like this when Pam went to the hospital November 2.

Her husband Terry Hart said, "She was not feeling good. And that there and she was having a little trouble breathing and stuff because she's got COPD."

Terry took her to emergency care in Mukwonago. She was diagnosed with COVIID-19, transferred to Waukesha Memorial Hospital, and over the next few weeks her condition worsened.

Marilyn said, "There was never a place where we could see her eyes open and look at us."

Marilyn remembered Pam as, "She was my big sister, my best friend, my confidant. I miss every moment of not being with her"

As Pam died, another problem arose: the hospital could not locate her personal items. Her clothes, jewelry, credit cards, and medical information were all gone.

After pam died, Marilyn met with the hospital's security department. She said, "They told us after doing their investigation and speaking with all the different people who handled Pam's things they've come to the conclusion that it was mistaken is trash and thrown out in the trash."

The family is not satisfied with the explanation. Terry said, "They said 'it's not our responsibility to take care of people's personal property.'"

Marilyn says the hospital has offered to pay back the couple hundred dollars cash that was lost. But the family says it's too late to make things right, so they want to warn other families. Terry said, "She's not there to say goodnight to and give her a kiss and stuff. There's nothing."

ProHealth Care, which runs Waukesha Memorial Hospital, would not comment on this specific case. But a spokesperson sent this statement: "On occasion we will hear from a patient or family about lost belongings. When we receive such a report, we do everything we can to work with the patient and family members to find what was lost."

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