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   Friday, January 06, 2006  

A thief in the NICU

Before I launch into a tirade, I'll give you the goods...the stuff you want to hear. The lowercase update.

My little man is now huge. He had his two month physical and vaccinations. He weighed in at a whopping FIVE pounds and is 18 1/4 inches long. To most of you this seems small, and for a two month old it is. Hell, for a newborn it is. But, we are still a full week away from his due date. He will turn "zero" on Thursday, January 12. We're celebrating with cupcakes and ice cream. In two weeks we have to return to the pediatrician for a weight check and his Prevnar vaccine -- the office had run out today and didn't expect the shipment in until late afternoon. Obviously, with his size and his history of temperature instability, they didn't want to put any more stress on him and agreed to let it wait for two weeks.

Now...the tirade. And oh, what a tirade!

On Dec. 20, I remember using my cell phone in the lobby of the hospital during the nursing change of shift. After that, I don't remember using it specifically, though a call from my phone does show up on my parent's caller ID on Dec. 22 (the day we brought the lowercase home).

I always keep my phone in the back zippered compartment inside my diaper bag (along with my wallet and iPod) and so I assumed that is where it has been for the last two weeks. Two nights ago, we decided it would be a good idea to charge it, so we went to my diaper bag and pulled out my wallet and my iPod and realized the phone was GONE.

We called it and it went straight to voicemail. We searched our coat pockets, closets and both of our cars (even though mine hadn't been driven since late November). We checked the online statement and the last call it showed was on December 20. Obviously, it hadn't been stolen. If it was lost outside the home, some kind soul turned it in to hospital security.

Yesterday afternoon I called the NICU. I spoke to my favorite PCT (similar to an orderly) and she hadn't seen it but transferred me to the charge nurse who also hadn't seen it. Because we were in an annex of the NICU during part of his stay, I had them transfer me to the PICU. The charge nurse on that floor hadn't seen it either but put up a sign telling anyone to call me if they found my phone (a brand new $300 camera phone -- GAH!). Then I had them transfer me to the information desk in the main lobby as the last calls I remembered placing were from there. They said they keep lost items at the desk for 24 hours before sending them to hospital lost and found which is housed in another building. Again my call was transferred.

For a split second, we thought my phone had been found. One was turned in on December 20. It was a flip phone. It was silver. It was an LG. Mine was a Motorola.

Yesterday evening, Mr. W decided to call it again. Some boy answered my phone. He said that it was his. Mr. W was taken aback and hung up. Then he got mad and called it again. He asked the boy where he found my phone, only now the boy effected a spanish accent and pretended to speak very little english.

We called Ver1z0n and were told that the theft/loss insurance we had taken out was never entered on our plan and so we were liable for all charges. The statement that we saw online was the DECEMBER billing cycle. As of yesterday, the kid with my phone had gone above my 600 free minutes and racked up over EIGHT HUNDRED dollars in charges. That we are responsible for. Because we have no insurance on the phone. Even though we thought we did.

We then called my voice mail and found that the thief had been getting lots of mail on my phone. Most of the calls were from his grandmother asking him to bring her things. So...we called her. And we asked her what her grandson Will's last name is. She gave us his full name and his address. In the WORST part of the city. We told her where it was lost and she went on a tirade about what a low thing her grandson did, stealing from someone with a baby in ICU. We told her we wouldn't press charges or ask for any money for his bill if she could get her grandson to turn the phone in to security at my husband's office (the local newspaper). She said that she would try. She also told us that he said he had been given the phone as a gift by "some fat girl."

Today, when we called his grandmother, she said that he told her he would not return the phone. She instructed us to press charges so that he could finally be taught a lesson. She said she was tired of his nonsense. He also told her the truth. He said, and this is a direct quote:

I stole it from some white lady's purse in the ICU with all the sick babies.

Mr. W called the police to file a report and they highly reccomended we didn't. When he told the officer the boy's name and address, he said that it would be hard to prove and repeatedly said that if he is a gang member you don't want your name and address on file, because if he is a gang member your personal safety is at risk over a few hundred dollars, and if he is a gang member you just don't want to deal with that on top of everything else, because, you know, if he is a gang member your wife and child might not be safe either.

Apparently...he's a gang member. And he has my fucking phone. And I can't do anything about it. He can't be held accountable because he's in a gang and it's just not safe. So, he gets to do what he wants when he wants and to whom he wants with no consequences. Somehow, it just doesn't seem fair.

   [ posted  @ 10:28 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (8) ]
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  Comments about my post, "A thief in the NICU":
Awww f-word, what a bunch of cr@p. I have to watch my languange now, there are babies around, heh.
I am sittinghere, fuming! I cannot believe that the hospital security would allow this little gang boy to hang around where he could prey on stressed parents!
I hope the phone is cancelled so it will die on him and that some how someday he gets his!
Meanwhile happy to hear that lowercase is doing so well! Bravo, great news!!
That is absolutely ridiculous! I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this but glad to hear that lowercase is doing so well!
WOW! There are so many things wrong with that story, I don't even know what to say! It really is scary that a random guy could be hanging out in the NICU to begin with. I used to leave my bag by the isolettes when I went to pump, and I never thought anything of it. I guess I'm lucky no one stole anything! I'm sorry for the inconvenience and the incompetence you've had to deal with. Glad to hear your baby is well!
Ohmigod, I'd be BEYOND livid. On so many levels. For so many reasons. AAAAGH. I can't even come up with sentences because my brain is spinning so hard with anger and frustration for you.

But I would fight with Ver1z0n, I think, about the insurance. You didn't screw that up; they did.

Anyway, the far more important thing is YAY LOWERCASE!!!! Way to go, big guy! Two months and 5 lbs!

and... pictures? :)
Ok that's just crap... It's not hard to prove he stole it ... he has it. 800 dollars is not a few hundered it's many hundred. Grumble. Sounds like the police not wanting to get involved. Which is crap again.

I'm so mad for you... you have his address, name and info. If the cops won't do anything about it, I know a couple a guys in upstate who would take care of him for you *wink*

So sorry you have to deal with this at all.

Really glad little W is doing so well. Hurrah for 2 months!
So glad to hear the lowercase is doing well and packing on the weight. Absolutely great news.

I agree with Jen -- your phone company should eat this. You've probably already spent many many hours that you don't have to spare on the phone with them, but if escalating doesn't get you satisfaction, I'd cancel and find a new phone company. What a crock. If you thought you had insurance but it hadn't been "entered on your plan" it sounds like either someone didn't go over the details of the contract closely enough or they just screwed up. Really makes me mad! And I thought there was a way to file a police report anonymously; or at least so that your address isn't part of the public record?

Sorry for the assvice, just wanted to rant a little bit on your behalf. So infuriating.
What a terrible thing and ... and...I don't even KNOW what to say. I would work with the police to at least get a letter indicating that the phone WAS STOLEN and the reasons that you were suggested to NOT press charges. Maybe then they will have some compassion. Also write a letter to someone at the TOP of verizon, even if you have to pay the bill first. The people you talk to on the phone are only so empowered. The good news lowercase is ROCKING with weight and good news and THAT is wonderful.

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