Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 | 12:32 p.m.
In the ensuing chaos following the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Derek Harp's priority was the welfare of himself, and more importantly, his wife, Lauren -- both suffered gunshot wounds.
Added to the physical scars -- he was shot in the right elbow, right leg and left side of his hip and Lauren Harp was wounded once in her right thigh -- was Harp's anguish over his missing wedding band, which was lost at a hospital where the couple received medical attention immediately following the attack.
"It brought me to tears," Harp said about losing the ring. "They put it in a small bag and it never really made it with the rest of my personal items. It was pretty chaotic. It's not really anybody's fault."
In addition to the ring, he said the hospital also lost his wallet.
Harp, a Yorba Linda resident, member of the California National Guard and Iraq War veteran, had purchased the tungsten comfort fit men's band from a Robbins Brothers store in Fullerton three years ago.
A cousin informed the jewelry chain about the lost band, which responded by giving Harp a free replacement of the same style. The store also offered Lauren Harp a free anniversary ring.
"We didn't think twice about helping out Derek and Lauren," Robbins Brothers said in a statement to the newspaper. "The couple's resilient story of survival inspired all of us. They've been through so much. We get how meaningful their wedding rings are to them, and though a small gesture, we wanted to help add a little sparkle back to their lives."
Lauren Harp presented the band to her husband on Oct. 6 from her hospital bed at the UCI Medical Center where she was transferred to receive additional medical care.
"This wedding band means everything to me," Derek Harp said. "They didn't have to do that."
Lauren Harp will undergo physical therapy and pain management therapy for the next several months, Derek Harp said, adding he has a fractured elbow, but is otherwise doing fine.
Last week, the couple visited the Robbins Brothers store in Fullerton to find Lauren a proper anniversary ring.