In 2009, a retired policeman named Geraint Woolford was admitted to Abergale Hospital in North Wales and wound up next to a patient 25 years his senior who was also a retired policeman. Not a huge coincidence, right?
But it gets better.
It turns out the other policeman had the exact name name -- Geraint Woolford!
The men weren't related and had never met before, even though they worked for the same force.
What's more, they were the only two people in the United Kingdom named Geraint Woolford!
The elder Geraint Woolford, who underwent a hip replacement operation, is a past president of the Conservative Club in his hometown of Llandudno. Meanwhile, the younger Mr. Woolford, who was in the hospital for partial knee replacement surgery, is the current vice-chairman of the Conservative Club, located 34 miles away in the town of Ruthin.
Having two patients on the same ward with the same name caused headaches for staff who had to ensure they were dealing with the right one. The gentlemen, though, cracked plenty of jokes and repeatedly asked staff if they were sure they weren't mixing the patients up.
So let's do a brief recap:
- They have the same name
- They both lived in the UK
- They both worked in law enforcement, for the same unit
- They're both retired
- They wound up alongside one another in the same hospital
You would think this were a hoax, right? The odds of something like this happening must be one in a million -- if not trillion!
It wouldn't seem as shocking if both men had a very common name like John Smith. But Geraint Woolford? I've neither heard that first name nor last name before.
Interestingly, I have a story of my own that somewhat parallels that of these two men.
On the first day of school in the sixth grade, to my astonishment, I discovered that there was another student in homeroom with the name first and last name as me. Between us sat a girl who would end up being my wife 18 years later. (They were both friends who'd come from the same elementary school, and I had never meet them before.)
There was no shortage of confusion that day, as the school had clumsily put us in many of the same classes. They had even mixed up our lunch cards. I was frustrated and didn't think I could spend the entire school year like this.
The very next morning, I went to the main office and asked if they could change my schedule. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw we would no longer be in any classes together.
Luckily, the school learned its lesson and never put us in a single class together for the duration of our middle school years. We went on to attend the same high school, which had the foresight not to make the same mistake; we weren't in any classes together during that four-year span.
My now-wife and I never had a class together again after the 6th grade. She, too, went to the same high school as I did. I didn't see her again until prom night. I ran into her in the elevator, where we exchanged hellos. I was actually dating a different girl at the time. It wasn't until two years later that we reconnected through a mutual friend on MySpace. We quickly arranged a meeting, began dating a few days later, and the rest is history!
What's your take on the story I shed light on in this post? Have you witnessed any big coincidences in your life?