Okay, here's what he says to do (mr. nighten is an IT security guy). No clue if you or your husband can do all this but if you can, there's a chance you can recover what you've lost. Worth a shot. Hope it helps.
First thing. Stop using the computer for much of anything until you can do the second thing. The more you use it the more data hits the drive and you risk corrupting the files.
Second, you need 2 things:
1) Access from the computer missing the files to another media; this can be a USB flash drive, a networked drive or a second hard drive in the computer...it just has to be a different piece of physical media.
2) A copy of Helix from http://www.e-fense.com/helix/index2.html
. (It's free for now and an incredibly valuable toolset!)
Click the Download link, enter the required fields and download the file.
Burn it to a CD.
Boot into Windows.
Launch the Helix CD, either with Autoplay or run the helix.exe file and click Accept.
When Helix loads you want to click on the third icon from the top (a magnifying glass over files). When you mouse over it the balloon text should say "Incident Response." Click it and just to the right will be an arrow (triangle actually) pointing to the right. Click it once to get to the second page and look for the File Recovery app and launch it.
Click Help > Help Topics and pick your language then read the "Four Step Recovery" item.
Any files that show up under the Deleted list you can try to recover by right click and saving to the second media.
Rate of recovery will vary.