CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jeff Mauldin is hoping for a Christmas Miracle to help his wife, Corilee.
Jeff and Corilee both have special needs. The two have been married for 21 years and haven't spent much of that away from each other.
Last week, Corilee had to have surgery after she broke her knee in a fall. Her sister-in-law, Janice Bowers, checked Corilee into Wilora Lake Healthcare Center Friday for rehabilitation.
Corilee took out her teeth and hearing aids and put them at her bedside that night, explained Bowers, when she woke up they were gone.
Staff members told NBC Charlotte reporter Dianne Gallagher they searched everywhere for the missing devices, but have yet to find any sign of them.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg policeareinvestigatingthis asagrand larceny case, although they aren't sureexactly what happened to theteeth and hearing aids.
An officer said it is possible someone accidentally threw them away, another patient unknowingly took them or a person may have stolen them.
Corilee is a mess right now and I'm in a mess and wanting to do something for her but I can't, said Jeff Mauldin. I don't have the money.
Corilee's dentures were provided by Medicaid. Without the upper and lower sets she cannot properly eat and has had problems with choking in the past.
Medicaid only covers one set every ten years. So insurance won't cover this. We can't afford to replace them, said Bowers, but she can't eat without them.
Her hearing aids were donated to her. Corilee needs them to continue doing her jobin the dining facilitiesat UNC Charlotte.
She has worked there for the past 22 years. She is so proud of that. It gives her a purpose, said Bowers. I don't want this to take that away from her.
Bowers said she did sign a waiver when checking Corilee into Wilora Lake that stated the facility was not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Plus, added she doesn't want to blame the healthcare center. She repeatedly said she is thankful for the staff and the care it is providing as Corilee recovers from surgery.
Jeff said he is just hoping for a Christmas Miracle.
I love my little wife and I just want her to get her teeth and hearing back.