A DEVASTATED newlywed who was visiting the Western General Hospital for a flu jab had two rings worth £10,000 stolen after she took them off in the toilet.
Christelle Visagie took off her wedding band and a platinum engagement ring – which features a one-carat diamond inherited from her mother-in-law – to wash her hands.
The panicked 33-year-old rushed back after realising she had left them behind but discovered that the precious jewellery was gone.
Mrs Visagie, a dental office worker, said the lost rings were her “whole life” and she had been left unable to sleep in the wake of the loss.
The stolen wedding band was also made from platinum and studded with 24 diamonds.
Mrs Visagie, who lives in Edinburgh and was married in July, claimed dealing with security staff at the hospital was like “walking into a brick wall”.
Police are now appealing for any information about the “devastating” loss of the jewellery in a bid to return it to its owner.
Mrs Visagie said: “I went to the hospital with colleagues from work to get our flu jabs done.
“We went to the main reception to check-in, and I then went to toilets to wash my hands. I left the rings on the sink and less than 20 minutes later I realised they were gone.
“I’m absolutely devastated – those rings were my whole life, I can’t sleep or anything.”
The platinum engagement band was given to her in December last year. It has a powerful sentimental value as the one-carat diamond belonged to her mother-in-law for 45 years.
Her husband, Corne, a project manager, inherited the stone and designed a new ring for it to be placed in.
Mrs Visagie claimed security staff should have done more to investigate the theft.
She said: “I offered to leave the pictures [of the rings] so they could identify them if they do get handed in and they said they don’t do that.
“I then asked them to check CCTV and they said it’s not part of their job – honestly, it was like walking into a brick wall all the time.
“I’m now forced to turn to the police to help.”
The incident happened around 3.15pm on Tuesday, October 23.
Neither item had been handed in to hospital security, so Mrs Visagie contacted police to report them as stolen.
A police spokesman said: “Anyone who comes into possession of the rings is asked to hand them in to their local police station.
“We would also ask that anyone who can assist with our enquiries into this theft contacts police immediately.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 0131-311 3131, or the charity Crimestoppers in confidence and complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.
No-one was available for comment from NHS Lothian.