Laura Hind made passionate appeals on Facebook and in the pages of The Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post after the burglary at her home in Otley, West Yorkshire, last month.
Items taken included the hard drive which contained photos and videos of her with her partner of ten years John Cowan, who died in January just three weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
“It came entirely out of the blue - I just had a phone call from a gentleman who said ‘I think I’ve got your photos’,” she said. “His friend had been approached by some kids in Pollard Park, Bradford, who found the hard drive and didn’t know what it was. He’d plugged it in, found my CV on the drive with my phone number on it and got it touch.
“I had given up hope of getting them back - I’d done everything I could think of.”
Following the burglary, Miss Hind, a teacher in Pool in Wharfedale had made an emotional plea on Facebook to try to recover the drives.
She wrote: “My laptops and external hard drives containing precious photographs of me and my partner, John, who passed away in January, were stolen over the weekend.
“I don’t care about the computer, I just want the hard drives back! If anyone knows anything, finds a discarded red laptop bag or is buying second hand laptops, please, have a conscience!! #bringmebackmyphotos”
While she has recovered one of the hard drives, other items stolen by the burglars, who Miss Hind said “ransacked” her home, including two laptops and a digital camera, have not been found and police are still trying to track down those responsible.
But the relief at getting the images of Mr Cowan, who was just 39 when he died, made up for the material loss.
Miss Hind, 36, said: “They are massively important to me, they were all I had left. We are not able to make new memories so having a snapshot of those memories we did share are so important. There are video clips that show John in action. Seeing him moving and talking is so nice.”
Mr Cowan, who was an accountant, was diagnosed with a brain tumour a week before Christmas. Sadly, the tumour was very far advanced and he died on January 6.
Miss Hind said: “We have been together for almost ten years, on those hard drives were all the memories of our life together.”