When the man lost the hope of getting back the treasured possession again, help came in for him in the most unexpected way.
People who lost their loved ones know how precious it is to safeguard their memories because it is all they have left of them, especially in the case of a married person. The loss of their spouse with whom they have spent years making memories and building a family can be unfathomable. Looking back at their photos or videos, revisiting the places they loved and treasuring the objects they owned can fill the emptiness that they left to some extent. Stan Beaton, based in Mirfield, United Kingdom, had one such treasured keepsake in memory of his late wife, Ruby - a voicemail recording in her voice, which he lost 11 years after her death, as reported by BBC.
Beaton's wife passed away in 2003 due to cancer and ever since then, Beaton found solace in listening to her voice in the recording, which he managed to retain till December 2014. But when the UK-based telecommunications company Virgin Media had to clear up their old data as part of their technical work, Ruby's voicemail was also deleted. "I've always resisted changing companies because whenever I mentioned that my wife's voice was our voicemail message and would it be retained and each company said no, so that's why I never changed," Beaton told the news channel.
Talking about how important the recording was to him, the patriarch said, "In the early days [I listened to it] quite often. Basically, it came to the point where if I felt low, then I would listen to it" and added "In December I learned that it had disappeared. I just could not tell people how it affected me at that time. It really did devastate me."
When he realized the voice message had disappeared, Beaton contacted Virgin Media. Speaking to the media channel, Rob Evans, the executive director of engineering at Virgin Media, said that finding Ruby's message was like "searching for a needle in a haystack." He believed the chances of retrieving the message were quite slim and a team of 11 engineers took three days to track it down. In January 2015, the then 68-year-old Beaton was contacted by Virgin Media to disclose the good news that they had been able to retrieve the voice message. The news channel was in touch with the telecom company and decided to reveal the message during an interview with Beaton.
When the channel's reporter told about Virgin's efforts in recovering the message, the patriarch innocently exclaimed, "Really? 10 people? It must have cost a fortune," to which the reporter replied, "Obviously, you've been worth it, Stan." Beaton got too emotional as the recording was played for him with Ruby's voice saying, "Sorry, at the moment, Stan and Ruby are not available. But if you please leave your phone number and your name after the turn, we will get back to you as soon as possible." The tearful old man said, "It's just a wonderful, wonderful sound that I thought was lost forever" and added, "Thank you, Virgin Media. I'm staggered at the lengths they have gone to retrieve it and they made this old age pensioner extremely happy."