AKRON, Ohio — A shooting survivor says he feels victimized again after several of his belongings, including a $1,200 wedding ring, vanished from Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center where he was treated for his serious injuries.
Jeramy Cherry, 42, said he has been trying to get reimbursed for several months, but the hospital isn't paying up.
"They said they couldn't do nothing for me. They are not replacing it and pretty much I'm out of luck," Cherry said.
Cherry was shot on Sept. 9, 2021, on Delia Avenue in Akron. He was struck in the leg and was bleeding badly when officers arrived, according to police.
Officers Cory Siegferth directed Officer Nakoa Anderson, who had been on the job for one month, to put a tourniquet on Cherry's leg, a move that may have saved his life.
"Just based on the situation, you could tell things needed to happen quickly," Anderson told News 5 last September.
Cherry said he will be forever grateful for the actions of the officers that night.
"That day was a very scary day and I thank them. I'm here to see my kids another day," he said.
Cherry said he was wearing the ring (ahead of a planned wedding) and a necklace when he was rushed to Cleveland Clinic Akron General, but the jewelry was removed prior to emergency surgery. The ring was white gold with black diamonds and valued at $1,246, according to proof of sales document from the jeweler.
"It was a beautiful, beautiful ring," he said.
According to Cherry, his left femur was shattered and doctors inserted a rod between his hip and knee and added screws to keep his knee together.
"I'm in pain every day. It's different, basically learning to walk again," he said.
As Cherry prepared for discharge on Sept. 14, he realized that hospital workers didn't know the location of several of his belongings, including the ring, necklace, his wallet and clothing from the night of the shooting.
"They couldn't tell me nothing," he said.
Cherry said he was referred to a hospital ombudsman who asked for a picture of the ring and a receipt. Cherry provided both and he and fiancee, Quishana Parker, assumed they would be paid the value of the ring.
However, Cherry said he received a call from the ombudsman this week indicating she was sorry, but there was nothing more the hospital could do.
That call left Cherry angry and frustrated.
"I was in their care. You know what I'm saying? I was very patient. I was very diligent," Cherry said. "I felt like they are entitled to replace my ring."
The couple said they had coverage if the ring got scratches or the diamonds were damaged, but they did not have insurance if the ring was lost or stolen.
They cannot afford to buy the same ring again and feel they can't schedule their wedding day without the ring, which was a close match to Parker's ring.
"I thank God they saved his life, but at the same point, I was thinking in the back of my head— like what if something happened and he would have been buried without his ring," Parker said. "It's insult on top of injury."
Citing patient confidentiality, Cleveland Clinic Akron General spokeswoman Beth Hertz said the hospital couldn't comment on the situation.
"We have a policy in place for lost patient belongings within our facility, including the emergency department. We are committed to our patients health and safety as our top priorities at all times," Hertz said.
Tom Still, director of operations for SACS Consulting and Investigative Services, used to work security at a different area hospital. He said hospitals typically have strict policies when it comes to protecting the valuable items of patients.
But he said it's not "uncommon for hospitals to lose things" and when items disappear it's usually because things are put in the trash or stolen.
"The thing is you've got to have a chain of custody," Still said. "It's documented on a patient's chart. Then usually, they call security and security comes in. They have to recount everything and everything gets labeled."
Cherry said he will keep fighting. He's grateful to have his life back, but now he wants his ring— or money for it— back too.
"For them to crush somebody's dream like that and don't even help nobody, you know, I'm hurting now. I'm frustrated right now," he said.
Akron police continue to investigate the shooting and there's a "person of interest", but no one has been arrested, according to Lt. Michael Miller.