Tornado survivor finds wife's engagement ring

By Emily Rittman

Dallas County, MO (KSPR/CNN) - A tornado survivor could be in the running for husband of the year. The Missouri man's wife lost a treasured keepsake in last week's tornado outbreak.

But in all the rubble, he was able to find it.

"That frame lying right there. It was actually picked up from there and thrown over this house. Those are the walls off my trailer on top of there," said Cody Schleuning.

Schleuning's family members were tossed in three different directions, including his 16-year-old son.

"The boy, he remembers every minute of it. He heard the noise and he got up and he walked into the living room and he remembers the windows blowing out, a dresser hitting him, a TV coming off the wall and hitting him and he remembers going through the ceiling. He had a head concussion. He has a laceration from the top of his eye and it goes all the way over his whole head," said Schleuning.

His 15-year-old daughter and wife were also hospitalized.

"My daughter they found her three houses up," he said.

Everyone in the family is now released. With his family safe, Schleuning started a new search. A search for something very sentimental.

"I was just kept digging and digging until we got to where it was at. With all this stuff here. How do you find it," he said.

Schleuning would not give up. And then, "It was laying right there," he said.

It meant a lot to his wife. He called her to let her know it was safe.

"I called her and she was crying," he said.

Crying because he found, "an engagement ring I gave my wife 10 years ago," he said.

This family not only survived a tornado that took their neighbor's life just two doors down, they also survived a nearby fire. During the aftermath, their shed caught fire. Despite all they lost, they did find that important ring and their dogs.

"Very lucky," he said.

Lucky and looking toward recovery. They are in the process of buying a home nearby to restart a life as the family recovers from their injuries.


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