A Bay Area veteran still recovering from major heart surgery had something else to deal with -- a hospital losing his dentures.
It was perhaps the last thing Denis Graham thought would happen after having heart surgery. Once he recovered from the pain of having surgery, he had to deal with the embarrassment of being without his false teeth.
For Denis Graham, taking his dentures on and off are part of his daily routine.
He's had dental problems since his teen years when he started losing teeth playing hockey on the icy streets of Long Island.
"This one was a puck flying and another one was a punch," Graham said.
Hockey can no doubt be a rough sport, but Graham says that doesn't compare to losing his dentures at the hospital.
"It was very embarrassing to talk, or smile. I felt like having my hand in front of my face the whole time," Graham said.
He lost his false teeth when lab technicians at John Muir Hospital asked him to remove them before testing.
His wife says he left the hospital without them. "They put him under. He was kind of disoriented," Faye Graham said.
It wasn't until Denis went back to his hospital room and nurses gave him something to eat that he noticed his dentures were missing.
The hospital staff tried to locate his dentures, but couldn't find them.
Faye contacted the head nurse and the social workers for help, but they told her the patient's property is their own responsibility.
"How could it be his responsibility? He was disoriented when they admitted him," Faye said.
But Denis and Faye kept fighting for his lost teeth.
She talked to security and to a VA patient advocate bud didn't have any luck. Faye later learned it would cost $3,800 to replace her Husband's dentures. "We don't have that kind of money, Faye said. "It was on my last resort. I didn't know where to turn."
So she contacted 7 On Your Side and Denis says that's when things got into motion. The hospital told 7 On Your Side it did their best to locate the dentures. When they couldn't, they requested an invoice and reimbursed the Grahams for the loss dentures.
The released a statement saying, "While we regret any inconvenience to the Grahams, we are happy that they are pleased with the positive resolution. Our goal is to always provide great care."
Denis loves his new dentures. "I don't feel terrible about smiling," he said.
7 ON YOUR SIDE