Oklahoma City, Oklahoma veterinarian Dr. Gary McNeill lost his wedding ring during an emergency surgery on a dog. As KFOR NewsChannel 4 reported, when performing surgeries, the vet normally takes his wedding ring off and places it on the corner of the metal surgery table.
But after his last procedure, he realized too late that the ring had landed in the trash can directly below the table. He returned to work the following day and the trash can had been emptied. “I went out to check the dumpster, and they had dumped the dumpster,” the doctor recalled. “You lose your ring, that’s not a good omen.” The ring was McNeill’s cherished symbol of his 10-year marriage to his wife Barbara, and special because he had designed the Celtic influenced ring to represent his heritage.
Dr. McNeill realized that his lost wedding ring was somewhere in an Oklahoma City landfill, where over 2,000 tons of garbage is dumped daily. The prospect of finding a proverbial ‘needle in a haystack’ was slim to none. But that did not deter the veterinarian from taking on the challenge. McNeill made a call to Waste Management and spoke with Shawn Cockrell.
Cockrell has only received two lost ring calls in 17 years and said, “It’s not very often, but when we do, we do what we can to help them find it.” McNeill had history on his side because Shawn’s first lost ring search ended in a successful find.
Cockrell identified the truck that would have carried the ring and waved the McNeills over. Barbara had joined Gary at the landfill to help in the search and as they dug through the mounds of trash they were both able to laugh at the whole situation. Gary said, “Of all the places, I take my wife to the trash dump!” “I start cracking jokes and laughing hysterically,” said Barbara.
After digging and digging Gary recounted the moment of truth, “I tore this sack open and dropped it on the cardboard box and the ring fell out right on the corner of that cardboard box. I said, ‘Yes!’
Video and more info: KFOR