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Telemarketer calls woman on hospital deathbed - abc27 WHTM

Telemarketer calls woman on hospital deathbed

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HUMMELSTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) -

Upon meeting Al Niccolini two things are made very clear.

He's Italian. And at 83 years old, he has handed in his filter.

"What attracted you to her?" asked our reporter Alex Hoff of Niccolini's wife, Anna Loretta.

"I cant say it on TV!" he responded with a brow raise.

He was referring to a rather buxom picture and portrait of his wife at age 25.

"I sat down, and that's the result," he added of the sketch that he drew.

The spot next to him on his front porch swing has been empty for eight days now.

"She knew she had cancer around the first of the year," he said. "She never told me."

It didn't take long for Niccolini to realize that after 50 years together, bladder cancer was killing his bride. By May, she was at Hershey Medical Center with only days to live.

"I was sitting by her bedside, and the phone rang," described Niccolini.

His wife answered it but was quickly confused. She handed the phone to her husband.

" 'Believe it or not,' I said to her, and she understood a little bit, I said 'It was a telemarketer trying to sell you windows.' "

Anna Loretta died 10 days later.

While Niccolini praises the care his wife received, he can't seem to cope with that call

"With this modern technology, you can't tell me that they can't block those calls? Get outta here!" he said, lending his Italian heritage to those last three words.

For that reason he says he "100% percent blames the hospital," not the telemarketers, who he called "stupid anyway" more than once.

All things considered, Niccolini's spirits were high during the afternoon interview, and his laugh was infectious.

"Are you going to do anything?!" he yelled playfully to abc27 photojournalist Derek Thompson, who was standing beside his camera after pressing 'record.'

"Its rolling by itself!" Thompson said back.

"It's rolling by itself? Oh! It's rolling right now? Heyyy!" praised Niccolini.

While he didn't know too much about TV cameras, he does seem to know a good bit about life.

"Today is the first day of the rest of my life, and yours, and yours," he said with a smile.

Now all this widower says he wants from the hospital is an apology for allowing the phone call to disturb his wife's last few moments.

Hershey Medical Center released this statement:

"First and foremost, our hospital operators would never put someone who identifies him or herself as a telemarketer through to a patient room. We should also note that nearly half of our inpatient rooms have been converted to six-digit phone extensions, which prevent outside calls from reaching those rooms accidentally – for example, by people dialing a wrong number. We expect the remaining inpatient rooms to be converted in the near future."

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