Family pays 35-year-old hospital bill by selling jewelry collection

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Children's Hospital of Orange (Calif.) County received reimbursement for a bill from nearly four decades ago after a family sold their jewelry collection to pay the $10,000 tab, The Orange County Register reports. 

The jewelry collection belonged to Josefina Saldaña-Gaffoglio, who unexpectedly passed away from a stroke in January. Ms. Saldaña-Gaffoglio had a long-time wish to use her jewelry to pay a waived hospital bill for treatment her son, Eric Gaffoglio, received in 1982.

Mr. Gaffoglio suffered a collapsed lung after his birth at Newport Beach, Calif.-based Hoag Hospital, and was transferred to CHOC. He spent three days at CHOC and racked up a $10,000 bill, according to the report. At the time, Ms. Gaffoglio and her husband could not afford the bill, and CHOC waived it.

Following her death, Ms. Saldaña-Gaffoglio's son and daughter-in-law acted on her wishes and gathered about 50 pieces of her jewelry to sell and give to CHOC. They presented a check to the hospital on Wednesday.  

"It's what she wanted," Mr. Gaffoglio told two nurses, who were both in the neonatal intensive care unit when he was an infant. "That was her wish. When she died it was our responsibility to take care of [the bill]."  

For the full Orange County Register report, click here.

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