June 21, 2016
City worker Jose Cervantes called it a "one in a million shot," but the thin odds of finding an engagement ring in a sewer system six weeks after it was lost didn't dissuade him from helping a family in need.
Anna and Ryan Cornish, of Bothell, Wash., had been heartbroken over the loss of Anna's double-halo-style diamond engagement ring — a precious keepsake their 4-year-old son, Landon, had flushed down the toilet during bath time.
Despite the admirable efforts of their plumber — who put cameras in the waste pipes — the ring was nowhere to be found.
But, then by chance, Ryan noticed a truck from the City of Bothell Public Works in his neighborhood. He approached sewer maintenance worker Cervantes and asked if he could help.
Normally, retrieving jewelry in the sewer is a fruitless endeavor. But Cervantes knew of a quirk in the local sewer system that could make all the difference.
“Where [Ryan] lives there’s actually what’s called a belly in a pipe, a settled out piece of pipe," Cervantes told a Global News affiliate. "It’s a little lower, so solids end up getting in there.”
After getting the thumbs-up from his supervisors, Cervantes and his team returned the next day to suck up the sewage from the depression in the pipe. They dumped the material out of their truck and carefully hosed it down. Emerging from the stinky mess was Anna's ring.
“It was shocking, amazing," Cervantes said. "We got the ring. Holy cow, it’s a one in a million shot.”
Ryan was excited when he found out the ring was recovered, but decided to keep the good news from Anna until it could be presented in the proper way.
First, he brought the ring to a local jeweler for a professional and thorough cleaning. Then he placed it in a ring box so a very special person could make the presentation...
"Mom, I’m so sorry. Will you please forgive me?” little Landon said as he handed the ring box to Anna.
"Then he opened the box with the ring inside," recounted Anna. "I just felt speechless; tears started coming down my eyes."
Ryan and Anna couldn't be more grateful to the City of Bothell Public Works crew, who went above and beyond the call of duty. Anna plans to hand the ring down to her daughter, who is now three years old.
Many years from now they'll have quite a tale to tell.
Credits: Video captures via Globalnews.ca.