Demolition crews were warned they might ‘come across a few skeletons’ while razing old medical wards for the new Hollywood Private Hospital development, but clinical nurse manager Ms Byrnes said they instead solved a 22-year-long mystery.
Ms Byrnes had just returned to work after visiting family in Ireland when her wallet was stolen in 1992.
‘I reported it to security and then completely forgot about it; I decided it was an unsolved mystery,’ she said.
‘When (hospital services manager) Wayne Williams emailed that my wallet had turned up stuck in an old roof I just couldn’t believe it.
‘He played it up of course, emailing me a picture of my driver’s licence and asked, ‘who might this person be?’. I think I replied, ‘God, wasn’t I a looker back then’. It’s amazing that I’m still working here, it’s like I’ve been waiting for it this whole time.’
Ms Byrnes said the black leather wallet was ‘in such good nick’ that she might even start using it again.
‘It is just fascinating that it was stowed away for so long and it wasn’t noticed or destroyed by rats or birds,’ she said.
‘To get it back is wonderful, it’s like a little time capsule.’