Leeds great grandad Morris Jessop sat in his armchair all night trembling after thieves stole his most precious possession.
They took the 87-year-old widower’s late wife’s treasured wedding ring during a raid on his home in Leeds.
They even stole cash from a Christmas card Mr Jessop was intending to send to his daughter.
Mr Jessop, who is undergoing treatment for lung cancer, said he was left “trembling” after the raid and was unable to sleep.
Raiders climbed through an unlocked ground floor window at the retired bus and lorry driver’s bungalow in Pudsey as he slept.
Along with the 22-carat gold wedding ring, also taken were an 18-carat gold plain ring with a diamond; two necklaces, one with a gold hear pendant; a ladies gold watch, a silver marcasite woman’s watch and a man’s signet ring.
Thieves also took £85 from his wallet and 12 pound coins from pockets of trousers.
Mr Jessop has lived alone since his wife of 58 years, Clarice, died aged 80 in 2002.
He said: “I had written six Christmas cards I was sending to my family. They were all opened and £10 I was sending to my daughter was taken. The jewellery boxes were all in a tin box. The boxes were left empty on the floor.”
Mr Jessop, who is undergoing radiotherapy at St James’s Hospital, Leeds, added: “You couldn’t put a price on the jewellery that was stolen. It was of sentimental value to me.
“I was really upset, I was trembling. The next day I didn’t go to bed and sat in my chair most of the night. I was frightened he was going to come again or something else was going to happen. I said to the police ‘why did they pick on me?’”
North West Leeds police are appealing for information about the raid, which happened between 11.50pm on November 23 and 7.15am the following day.
A spokesman said: “Anyone who saw anything suspicious around the time of the burglary, or who has been offered any of the items for sale, is asked to contact Det Cons John Brayshaw at Belle Vue via the force’s new non-emergency number 101. Or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously and in confidence, on 0800 555111.”