An Indiana woman lost both her legs when her family's home collapsed on top of her Friday as she was shielding her two children from a devastating tornado, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. But thanks to the woman's efforts, her kids survived.
Stephanie Decker, 36, lost one leg above the knee and the other above the ankle, her husband Joe Decker said. She is in stable condition at a hospital in Louisville.
“What I told her was, ‘You’re alive and you get to see your kids grow up,’” Joe Decker of Marysville, Ind. told the newspaper. “If you look in the basement, there’s no way anybody should have lived, let alone two kids who don’t have a scratch on them.”
Decker told the newspaper he sent his wife a text message from work Friday, telling her the radar was showing a tornado headed straight for their three-story brick and stone house.
A man who was caught in the path of a tornado that ravaged his Indiana community speaks exclusively with TODAY's Ann Curry about trying to help save his neighbors and the guilt he says he feels about their deaths, including that of a baby.
Stephanie Decker had arrived home minutes before and immediately huddled in the basement with their 8-year-old son, Dominic, and 5-year-old daughter, Reese, the paper reported.
Then she “just stopped texting me,” Joe Decker told the Courier-Journal, standing outside his devastated home on Sunday afternoon. “She was on top of them.”
Decker said that once the funnel cloud had passed, several neighbors came to his family's aid, after his son alerted them.
According to the report, the now destroyed 8,000-square-foot, three-level house was the couple's dream home.
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