Heirloom ring flushed; sewer workers retrieve it

AP News
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Posted: Nov 25, 2014 6:13 PM
Heirloom ring flushed; sewer workers retrieve it

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. (AP) — Pat Hanson of Central Point says she's lost about 10 pounds recently, an aftereffect of a fall, and noticed in church earlier this month that her mother's wedding ring was loose on her finger.

After the service, Hanson used the restroom and, whoops, the ring got flushed.

"I just panicked. I wanted to dive down that toilet right after it," Hanson told Medford Mail Tribune (http://bit.ly/1FpkJz4).

The ring, she said, dates to 1920. Her mother died in 1989, and she's been wearing it daily since then.

There was little she could do on a Sunday but pray. The next morning, Nov. 10, she and a friend went to the regional sewer utility, Rogue Valley Sewer Services.

Out to the Shepherd of the Valley Catholic Church went four workers, two trucks and portable closed-circuit TV gear.

No luck. The sewer workers broke the news to Hanson. Then the next day, without telling her, they went back to work.

"We didn't want to get her hopes up," operations manager Shane Macuk said.

They plugged the sewer main so they could inspect the line when it was dry. They vacuumed up some likely spots for items to accumulate and sorted the vacuumed material in a process similar to panning for gold.

Eventually, worker Travis Cox spotted the ring, and eventually the crew got it out.

With the ring cleaned up, repaired and resized, Hanson is praising the sewer workers and citing the patron saint of lost items.

"I'd done a lot of praying to St. Anthony," she said. "I feel I ought to write a letter to the pope and let him know we had a miracle here in Central Point."

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Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/