Woman Requires Emergency Surgery After Swallowing Engagement Ring During Sleepwalking Incident

ABC 10 News/YouTube / Jenna Evans/ Facebook

Jenna Evans, of San Diego, California awoke recently to discover that she had made a terrible mistake while sleepwalking: she had taken her engagement ring right off her finger and swallowed it!

Evans remembers dreaming of swallowing the 2. 4 carat diamond ring in a dream and starting to wake up, but the idea that she had really swallowed her ring was too absurd to be real so she went back to sleep.

“I was having a dream that Bobby and I were in a very sketchy situation involving a high speed train and bad guys (I have very exciting and vivid dreams) and he told me I had to swallow my ring to protect it; so I popped that sucker off, put it in my mouth and swallowed it with a glass of water riiiight about the time I realized what I was doing.”

Evans added:

“I assumed this too was a dream, because WHO ACTUALLY SWALLOWS THEIR ENGAGEMENT RING, so I went back to sleep.”

In an interview with NBC 7 San Diego, Jenna said that she has a history of sleepwalking but has never eaten anything while sleeping before.

After waking up the next morning Evans looked down to see that her engagement ring was, indeed, missing from her ring finger and knew that she had really swallowed it. She then told Bobby Howell, her fiancé, who was understandably a bit skeptical at first.

“I don’t think he believed me right away. We laughed pretty hard for about an hour and a half, called my mom, laughed until we were crying, googled ‘do other adults swallow rings’ because kids do it all the time, but apparently it’s less common for adults.” 

The pair eventually decided it was time to seek medical attention and went to an urgent care center for x-rays.

“The doctor ordered an Xray and seemed pretty shocked when she walked back in with a second doctor and showed me that sure enough, my ring was right there in my stomach!”

The doctor at the clinic recommended a specialist handle the situation. They also suggested that Jenna see a sleep specialist about her sleepwalking.

Upon meeting with the gastroenterologist (a stomach and digestive system specialist) an emergency upper endoscopy was recommended to retrieve the ring before it moved further down her digestive tract.

“They called a gastroenterologist and decided it would be best NOT to let nature take its course. (Thank God)”

“I was really happy because I don’t know if I can look at it and appreciate it in the same way if I had to ‘search’ for it.” 

The procedure was a success, though Evans did not react well when coming out of anesthesia and said she cried inconsolably upon waking; the ring was retrieved and entrusted to Bobby for safekeeping.

Posted by Jenna Evans on Thursday, September 12, 2019

After a post-op trip to In-N-Out Burger for some fortifying fast food, Jenna went home to recover from the procedure with her canine companion Brazos (who she says is a good boy who doesn’t eat things that he’s not supposed to).

You can read Evans’ full account of the events, and see x-rays, images from the endoscope, and recovery photos below:

Some folks shared well-wishes and concern for Jenna. 

Screenshot of Facebook comment from Atia Manning: "Nice! I've done some things while sleeping too if the dream is vivid enough! I love In N Out, hope your tummy was OK processing all of that food afterwards!"
Atia Manning/Facebook
Screenshot of Facebook comment from Janey MacArthur: "I'm laughing with you but feel your anxiety. Might have to tape it on your finger until you get that wedding ring. Sending positive thoughts."
Janey MacArthur/Facebook

Others appreciated the humor of the situation. 

Screenshot of Facebook comment from Marcella Simon Vander Eems: "Glad you can laugh about it after! Definitely makes for a great story. All the best as you get married"
Marcella Simon Vander Eems/Facebook

Screenshot of Facebook comment from Clarissa Rayns Harris: "Aww this was seriously the cutest and silliest thing I read today! [smiling face with smiling eyes emoji]"
Clarissa Rayna Harris/Facebook
Screenshot of Facebook comment from Jamie Cadena: "Hahaha I'm a very vivid dreamer now I have something to worry about [two face with tears of joy emoji] glad you got your ring back!"
Jamie Cadena/Facebook
Jenna’s story is even getting international attention! 

Screenshot of Facebook comment from Marianne Bennett: "You were on out Alberta news this morning LOL"
Marianne Bennett/Facebook
Screenshot of Facebook comment from Christine Headland: "Heard about this on the radio today over in the UK! Definitely a funny story but mainly because your ok"
Christine Headland/Facebook

All’s well that ends well.

Jenna has fully recovered from the procedure and she and Bobby are still on track to be married next May.

“Bobby finally gave my ring back this morning – I promised not to swallow it again, we’re still getting married and all is right in the world.”

Posted by Jenna Evans on Thursday, September 12, 2019

“I feel very grateful that I got it back and that it does end as a happy, funny story,” 

Looking for a safe spot for your rings at night? This elegant elephant ring holder is available here.


If you’re looking for something a little simpler, this walnut and brass ring holder is available here.


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Written by Winona Sioux Christnot-Peters

Winona Sioux Christnot-Peters is a writer/web designer and aspiring librarian based in Northern Maine. When not writing or in class, they devote much of their time to multiple non-profit organizations, largely focusing on LGBTQ+ rights and animal welfare. During rare moments of free time Winona enjoys video and tabletop games, as well as various nerdy fiber crafts such as crocheting (mainly amigurumi Pokémon, cat toys, and blankets) and counted cross stitch.