Man digs in trash,saves girl's retainer(and day)

Omaha, Neb. (KMTV)- - A Westside school district custodian saves the day. A student's retainer went missing and he dumpster dove to save the child and her mother from some heartache.

Rowan Hamm is in the fourth grade at Oakdale Elementary school. Two weeks ago, instead of sinking her teeth into class, she was chomping down on quite a problem.


It started in the lunchroom, eating next to her best friend. Rowan, who has had a bubble blue retainer for a couple of months, did what most orthodontal carrying kids do at mealtime.

"It was gross. So I put it underneath a napkin. I was at lunch and then I was going to pour my food. So I poured all my food," she recalled.

Poured in right into the trash can. She forgot her two thousand dollar mouthpiece. It was now a pricey piece of trash. Ten minutes later at recess she realized it was missing.

"I thought oh my gosh! No! No! This can't be happening! I'll be grounded forever."

Awaiting a lecture from her parents, she also realized the worst part of her fate of having to dig through the trash. On the menu that day: messy baked beans.

Luckily for Rowan, someone was about to help. Before mom could get to school, Rusty Mailliard rolled up his sleeves. Mailliard, the school custodian, said he knew it was going to be one of two large gallon trash cans, so he started sifting through the baked beans and all the other garbage.

"Just that he would take the time to do that," says Rowan's mom. "I think that was going above and beyond."

Mailliard recovered the hardware;saving rowan from being grounded and mom from a big, expensive headache. It's lead to a nice perk for the janitor and student too.

"We say hi and sometimes hug," Rowan explains.

The two are now 'buddies' she says. Both watching out for her retainer, but mostly, starting a friendship they say will be retained long into the future.

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