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Mud Miracle: Ring Found After Tornado

When a tornado hit Lamar County, Texas, Dakota Hudson and Lauren Patterson feared they would not survive. Hudson said, “We could feel the house start lifting up around us. We could hear the creaking and breaking.”

When the couple emerged from their bathroom, everything around them was destroyed, including their home, a family member’s house next door, and all their neighbors' homes. Hudson said, “God had his hand over our entire community. Looking at this destruction it’s hard to fathom how anyone could survive it.”

As the couple began checking on neighbors and learned everyone was physically OK, Hudson realized the engagement ring he’d just purchased to surprise Patterson was lost in the debris. He said, “Needle in a haystack doesn’t come close to what we were looking for.”

That is until the Paris Junior College softball team stopped by the property to offer help cleaning up. Once the team heard about the missing ring, they got to work. Outfielder Kate Rainey said, “I basically made my mind up. I was going to find the ring.” Rainey and her teammates searched for hours until she spotted a little miracle buried in the mud.

Though it wasn’t the proposal he had planned, Hudson decided there was no better moment to pop the question. Covered in mud, he dropped to one knee, surrounded by debris and with a team of softball players cheering him on. “We’re safe. We’re here. Everybody’s alright. It’s a miracle the ring was found. What better time to do it?” Hudson said. Patterson said “yes” immediately. “This was the light in a very dark moment. And it is still a dark moment, but this has given us reason to breathe and smile a little.”

The couple stayed in a hotel until they determined their next steps. They hope to rebuild on the same property and say they are extremely grateful for the love and support they’ve received from the community during this challenging time.

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