Mom searching for lost tribute to 4-year-old son gets help healing from strangers in RVA

Local News

HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — One month after an Arizona mom lost a piece of her heart in Richmond, a local boutique is hoping to help her heal.

Amy Kownack was on a work trip to Richmond when her Pandora bracelet slipped off her wrist.

It was more than just a piece of jewelry. It was a tribute to her son Carston. After the 4-year-old drowned in 2008, Kownack never took the bracelet off.

Its beads spelled out Carston’s name and there were charms to remind Amy of special times.

“When you lose someone you love, you cling to what you can have, and for me, that bracelet was one of those things,” explains Amy Kownack.

On December 30th or 31st, Amy lost the bracelet.

She retraced her steps to the Westhampton Post Office, the Kohls and Office Max stores on Broad Street and an office buiding in the 5500 hundred block of Falmouth Street.

The despondent mom never found the bracelet.

Two weeks ago, we shared Amy’s desperate search to get back that piece of her heart.

Thousands of people responded.

“I would wake up in the morning to messenger through FaceBook from people I don’t know asking me could they go to the stores I was at,” says Amy, “Could I tell them where I was so they could go to pawn stores? I mean it was just an outpouring of support that was really unexpected.”

Also unexpected was the Pandora bracelet shipped to Amy last week.

It came from Richmond boutique Penelope.

The store’s owner Penelope Searcy also knew the grief of losing a child.

Amy’s story moved her.

While the charms from the original have been retired, the beads on the new bracelet also spell out Carston’s name.

“So it’s starting fresh with a different look but it’s super kind to go out of their way and send that out to me,” says Amy.

Along with the new tribute to Carston on her wrist, Amy holds a special new feeling in her heart.

She’s grateful to the strangers who asked about her son and what they could do to help his devastated mom.

“It’s really kind of given me a little hope about humanity,” explains Amy, “I can’t tell the people of Richmond and Virginia how much it meant to me to have so many people try and help me.”

She’s not giving up hope that someone might still find the bracelet.

“I don’t really expect a miracle, but I still believe in them and I’m hoping that somehow, some way I can have that back,” Amy says.

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