All week, Courtney and Cody Campbell have been sharing their gratitude for being alive — and for the outpouring of community support — after their Santee home was hit by destroyed after a deadly crash on Monday.
The Campbells, who were not home at the time of the incident, were hoping to find Cody’s wedding ring. Since he works with food, he wears a silicon ring for work, and wedding band was left home the day of the crash.
“I think we tried to prepare ourselves going in: If we find something, that’s the best-case scenario, and if not, again, we’re still standing here, so that is the biggest takeaway,” Courtney said.
On Wednesday, when the Campbells got to go through the house for the first time, they not only found his ring but other precious memories as well, including a love letter Cody wrote to Courtney on their wedding day, as well as a photo of the couple.
“It was pretty incredible," Cody said. "I kind of broke down. I always wear a different ring to work, but finding my actual wedding band was pretty surreal feeling.”
Courtney posted the update on Instagram, a shot of them both touching the charred ring.
“We knew where it would have been, so the first thing that we did when we got into the house was kind of go straight into that area, and, with the help of our friends and our family, we were able to spot it,” Cody said, “still completely intact, just with a couple bumps and bruises — couple different colors now but still fits.”
There are parts of the home that were untouched in the fire.
“We joked [that] we wished we would have put all of our personal belongings in the kitchen or in the fridge,” Courtney said. “When you open — on the inside, for the most part — the groceries inside are still there.”
“The cleaning products under the sink — untouched," Cody said. "That stuff is kind of surprising."
There’s been a huge outpouring of love and support from neighbors, strangers and local businesses. The couple’s GoFundMe has raised more than $41,000 in just a few days.
The Campbells, who are staying with family, said the reality of the tragedy has yet to sink in.
“Not yet — I think being here and getting a chance to walk back through was a big reality check for sure,” Cody said. “I think our figuring out where we go from here is ... I don’t think we’ve quite managed to wrap our heads around that yet.”
It's not likely that anything else can be salvaged from the home.
“We found the stuff that we wanted to find, anything of some serious sentimental value to us,” Cody said. “At this point, probably pretty comfortable saying that the rest of the stuff is just material at this point.”
The Campbells said they planned on rebuilding their home.