A wedding ring belonging to a couple that has been together 54 years is back in its rightful place: on the hand of the man who sold it.
Police in Cornwall, Ontario, thought they were responding to a domestic assault case on January 24, 2014, but when they arrived, they found something much different (and even more heartbreaking).
An elderly man and his wife, who were not named to the media in order to protect their identities, were barely surviving. The husband was caring for his ailing wife, who suffered from dementia, and they had very little money.
In fact, times had become so desperate that he sold his wedding ring in order to feed her.
The police officers were immediately moved. Chief Dan Parkinson explains.
“It struck a chord with our officers,” Parkinson said. “It wasn’t a normal call. It was an emotional time for all once they determined what had happened.”
Parkinson described the husband as a “very proud man” in comments to the Ottawa Citizen, but proud or not, the responding officers and other police personnel weren’t about to turn their backs on the couple.
A dozen officers and civilian employees pooled their money and organized an effort to track down the wedding ring to buy it back.
When they were able to locate the ring, they found an inscription on it that read, “Together Forever.” They were also able to get in touch with the Alzheimer’s Society and the Community Care Access Centre, and put the couple on the organization’s radar for help with food and other health needs.
Chief Parkinson said he was proud of his staff for stepping up and taking initiative in the manner that they did.
“Believe it or not, they don’t do this for the recognition. They did it because it’s what they do best, which is to respond compassionately.”
Since the wedding ring story was picked up by local media, it has shot across the world resulting in additional offers to help from locations like Texas and the United Kingdom. Parkinson said the police officers aren’t accepting any money, but that these types of requests will be forwarded along to the victims services unit.
While 2014 was a more cynical year than usual when it came to public stories about the police, it’s good to see reports like this one where officers go above and beyond the call of duty to help the helpless.
What do you think about this police department, readers?
[Image via ShutterStock]