The untold story after the story aired…

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They didn’t know I was watching them or listening, let alone that I’d write anything about it.

But sometimes, in this day and age of cynicism and soundbites, it’s always good to get a reminder that genuinely kind, thoughtful people like News 8 reporter Brittany Lewis and photojournalist Ryan Mathias are out there.

On Thursday, the two went to East Moline, Illinois, where several neighbors are dealing with sewage issues, all brought on by the unrelenting cold weather. Septic lines are simply frozen and there’s nowhere for it to go. It’s gotten so bad for a woman named Marian that she has been washing her dishes and her hair using plastic bins placed in her kitchen sink, before using a bucket to dump the dirty water in the yard.

The two then wrote and edited the story Thursday night, WQAD aired it and everyone went about their business as usual.

But not Brittany and Ryan.

Friday morning, with no cameras rolling and on their own dime, the two bought flowers, coffee and breakfast for Marian. They found a guy to look at the septic system and showed up together on her doorstep.

Marian opened the door.

Marian wept.

And then, Marian gave Brittany and Ryan– strangers less than 24 hours before– two of the biggest hugs anyone had ever seen.

Long story short: Marian’s plumbing system will be fine; Brittany and Ryan went off to cover a different story Friday; and everyone else went about their business as usual again.

Proof, simply, that sometimes the best part of the story never gets told.

Job well done, Brittany and Ryan.

Job well done.


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