Texas man proposes after lost ring found in tornado debris

Dakota Hudson and his girlfriend Lauren Patterson have found a reason to smile after the disaster.

According to news outlet KXII, the couple’s home was destroyed when a tornado swept through Lamar County last week.

To make matters worse, Hudson had hidden an engagement ring around the house while waiting for the perfect time to propose to Patterson. After the storm, Hudson didn’t think he would see the ring again.

“Needle in a haystack doesn’t come close to what we were looking for,” Hudson told NBC affiliate KXAS.

But Patterson didn’t mind, she was just glad they survived the tornado. “We just held onto each other and prayed,” Patterson said of the scary experience, according to FOX 4 News. “The house started to rise. You could hear the creaking of the house as it broke away from the panel.”

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After the storm passed, Hudson had to break the news of the ring to his girlfriend. “I told her I was like, ‘I lost your engagement ring and your wedding ring,’ and she told me it was fine,” he recalled to KXII. “All she needed was me.”

When the Paris Junior College softball team arrived in the rubble-filled area where the house once stood, the players offered to help the couple clean up and find the ring.

“If you tell 20 girls someone’s going to get engaged, if they find a ring, they’ll find it,” Hudson told KXII.

Against all odds, softball player Kate Rainey found the jewelry buried two inches underground.

“I was just kind of digging through the mud at that particular spot, and I kept digging there,” Rainey told the outlet. “I don’t know why – I felt compelled to dig right there and I found a small piece of metal circle and it wasn’t metal. It was gold.”

She added: “I didn’t believe it. When I found it, I thought, ‘No way did I just find it.’”

The team had searched for hours prior to Rainey’s discovery.

With the ring back in his possession, Hudson wasted no time in proposing to his lover while the softball team was on display.

“Making it through a tornado, what am I waiting for,” Hudson joked, reported FOX 4 News.

“You finally had a moment to smile, and it was a real smile,” Patterson told KXII. “It was a very surreal moment. I couldn’t have asked for a better suggestion.”

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According to KXAS, the couple is staying at a hotel and plans to rebuild their home on the same lot.

“This was the light in a very dark moment,” Patterson said of finding her ring in the rubble. “And it’s still a dark moment, but that’s given us reason to breathe and smile a little.”