The widow of one of the first patients at the new Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice has made a heartfelt appeal to locate the bracelet her husband gave her a few weeks before passing away.
David Laraman did not know if he would live long enough to give his beloved wife Elaine a silver bracelet on the last birthday he would share with her, so he even presented it to her a day early just so they could share the moment together.
David passed away on August 16 aged 73 after a two-year battle with lung cancer, the last six weeks of which he spent at the new £6 million hospice.
But 12 days after his passing Elaine lost the bracelet somewhere between Coates and March, and although she back tracked everywhere she had been that day she was unable to locate it.
Elaine (68) said the bracelet meant absolutely everything to her.
“I think the world of it, it’s the most precious thing,” she said. “My husband told me he was getting me a present and that it was my last birthday gift.
“He was a wonderful man, irreplaceable. He was a strong man and I’m trying to be strong. I have to get up and face each day, that’s what he would want.”
The bracelet went missing on August 28 when Elaine of Coates, near Whittlesey, took son Michael to Doddington Hospital in March.
She walked between the car park and the minor injuries unit, then later went to the local Sainsbury’s in Mill View where she again walked in the car park and to the bottle bank.
This was followed by a trip to March railway station where she parked at the side of the road before saying goodbye to Michael who was catching a train.
The couple’s friend Samantha Thorn said: “David asked me to help him buy his beloved wife Elaine a last birthday present from him.
“He chose a beautiful silver bangle with a message engraved on the inside saying ‘love you forever sweetheart’.
“He presented it to her the day before her birthday as he was concerned that he wouldn’t make it to the day. It was bittersweet and I felt honoured to be present.
“As you can imagine Elaine was overwhelmed and declared she would treasure it always. David passed away on the 16th of August after a long battle, leaving Elaine devastated.”
The couple were married for 35 years while David, who served 37 years in the army, was awarded an MBE in 1995 for his service as a welfare officer with the Gurkhas in Hong Kong,
To help encourage people to try and find the bracelet son Chris has even produced an emotional YouTube video which includes some touching moments from July 20 when David presented his wife with her present.
Chris says on the video: “David loved my mother Elaine very dearly and was truly devoted to making her as happy as possible.”
After receiving the bracelet Elaine is seen telling David: “You’re the most wonderful man in the world and I will treasure it all my life.”
Anyone who locates the bracelet is urged to take it to March police station in Burrowmoor Road.
Chris added: “[The bracelet] has no true financial value but an unimaginable sentimental value.”
Elaine and Samantha both praised the care David received during his time at the hospice.
Elaine said: “The care was wonderful, I could not fault it. He was so well looked after.”
Samantha said: “He received the most wonderful and heartfelt care.”