Thanks to the persistence of a dedicated and softhearted sewer worker, Shannon Harrigan was reunited with her beloved engagement ring after losing it down the drain while giving her young son a bath.
Harrigan and her family had recently moved to Tequesta, Fla., from Chicago, and the young mom was having a hard time adjusting to the southern Florida humidity.
Her fingers were swollen, so she decided to move her engagement ring from her ring finger to her pinky. That turned out to be a bad idea, when the ring slipped off during bath time and disappeared down the drain.
"It was something that was obviously precious and priceless to me," Harrigan told NBC affiliate WPTV. Distraught, she knew that she would probably never see her ring again. But then, a glimmer of hope...
A few days later, by some amazing coincidence, a crew from the Loxahatchee River District was scheduled to clean the sewer lines near Harrigan’s house. She told the crew to “keep an eye out” for her ring.
Sewer worker Ryan Robertson was sympathetic to Harrigan’s plight. “I know how my wife would feel if she lost hers, so I felt we had to give it the best shot we could,” he told WPTV.
Actually, Robertson thought the recovery effort was probably going to be in vain. "It was like finding a needle in a haystack," said Robertson. "I didn't think we had a chance to find it."
The crew removed a load of sand and sewage from the sewer line and brought it back to the plant. There, Robertson personally raked through the muck to find the ring. After about an hour, Robertson was ready to give up, but then he noticed something shiny sitting on the top of the stinky pile. "I said, 'No way did we just find this.’"
Once he cleaned and sanitized the ring, Robertson personally drove it back to Harrigan’s house. He pulled it from his pocket and asked the mom of two little boys if her missing ring “looked like this.”
“I started crying," she said. "I was really taken by just the kindness and the time that they spent listening to the story."