A self-proclaimed piercing addict from Ohio was ecstatic to find a nose ring he'd been missing for five years, but he was not nearly as excited when he found out where it was.

35-year-old Joey Lykins woke up twelve years ago to his nose ring missing.

“I woke up and my septum piercing was gone, and I couldn’t find it anywhere,” he told Kennedy News. “I’d had it pierced for three or four years by that point."


Piercing similar to Lykins' missing ring

He looked everywhere for the ring but never found any trace of it. “I thought maybe I’d swallowed it. I looked everywhere. I flipped the bed over. I did everything."

After not being able to find the missing horseshoe barbell, he gave up and replaced the piercing with a new one. It was all fine, until 5 years later.

A few weeks ago, Lykins woke up in the middle of the night around 2:30am, coughing really hard.

“I was coughing so hard that my back was starting to hurt,” he said. “I felt like something was blocking my airways, and I thought I was sick.”

Initially thinking he had pneumonia or some kind of other respiratory issue, Lykins went to the hospital.

X-Rays to check out his lungs showed that the missing septum piercing from all of those years before - lodged in the upper lobe of his left lung.

“The doctor came in and showed me the X-ray picture and said, ‘Does this look familiar?’ ” he told the news outlet. “I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me! I’ve been looking for that.’ “

“I didn’t know what was going on, but I never [would] have thought that’s what it was,” he added. “I don’t know if it could have caused damage, but it was wrapped up in scar tissue, so it didn’t look like it was going anywhere."

He was referred to a specialist three days later for surgery. He underwent a bronchoscopy, where they passed a tube down his throat and into his lungs to get the ring out.

“They put me to sleep, put a camera down my windpipe with a little grabber, grabbed it, pulled it out and gave it back to me,” described Lykins, who understandably decided against putting it back in his nose.

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