I just got out of a meeting and saw your messages. I have a question for you -- are you encrypting the data in your database with a symmetric key? And is the symmetric key protected by the certificate you mentioned? If so, depending on how you created the symmetric key we might not have to recover the certificate to recover your data. I sent you an email response, and I need some more details from you to determine your exact status. Before you do anything else to your database though, and I can't stress this enough, get a backup of it immediately!
Also, Gail is 100% correct. If your DBA owns up to the mistake she might find someone else inside the company who can provide immediate hands-on help.