STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (PIX11) — Jackie from Staten Island will never let this ring off her finger again. The fact that it’s still on her hand is a miracle.

“Somebody who loves me very much and who I love very much has given it to me,” said Jackie.
The aqua-colored butterfly ring from Aruba is one of her most prized possessions. But, on Monday morning, it almost slipped away.

“It was crumbled in a white tissue,” said Jackie, “and I put it in the bag. I took the bag out for trash. When I realized my ring was in the bag of trash, I went to my door and noticed that bag was gone.”

In a panic, with tears in her eyes, she tried to chase down the sanitation truck.

“I drove up my block, and the truck happened to cross right in front of my path,” said Jackie. “They relaxed me and affirmed that my ring would be found.”

New York City sanitation workers diverted the truck from the landfill to the district three garage, where Jackie and a handful of workers started rifling through trash by hand.

“She knew it was a smooth black trash bag with glass clipping in it and a box of Mallow mars,” said Pete Mauro, a sanitation worker of nine years, who was among the workers rooting through the trash, frantically, trying to find that needle in the haystack.

After a few minutes, “I saw the box of Mallow mars, and I told her, I said, ‘we got it, you know, it’s here,'” said Mauro.

“When Pete tore the trash bag open and screamed, ‘I found it,’ tears of happiness and joy just came right down my face, and I gave him the biggest hug ever,” said Jackie.

Sanitation workers have always been unsung heroes. For Jackie, they’re heroes in every way. “A tremendous thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she said.