Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Emotional Reunion for Texas Flood Victims, Rescuer; Toddler Expected to Make Full Recovery

Eric Chaney
Published: May 3,2017

Both her babies are okay, but Emily Ocheltree still can’t watch the video.
She has spent days in the hospital watching as her young daughter had her breathing tube removed and began breathing on her own. The child is going to be okay.
She’s had an emotional reunion with one of the men who helped rescue her family from their wrecked truck, sitting upside down in a flooded ditch.
But she can’t bring herself to watch the horrific video, which shows her children, limp and blue, being pulled from the wreckage and given CPR.
"Maybe in a few days I'll warm up to it," she told WFAA.
It’s terrifying footage. Rescuers swarm the car, desperate to get the family out.  The video goes dark, but the confused shouts of the rescuers can still be heard, mingling with the rush of water, and pierced by Phillip Ocheltree’s heart-rending scream: “That’s my daughter!”
A woman can be heard praying as rescuers frantically perform CPR on both children.
Phillip and Emily Ocheltree, whose two young children nearly died after the family was trapped in their flipped truck in a flooded ditch, snuggle with their daughter in the hospital. Both children are expected to make a full recovery.
(Facebook/Phillip Ocheltree)

The family – Phillip, Emily, 18-month-old Addyson and 4-month-old Marshal – were trying to find a storm shelter Saturday between rounds of severe weather, WFAA reports, when their truck was washed off the road near Myrtle Springs, Texas.
Before the rescuers arrived the family was trapped inside the vehicle in total darkness.
“Just black,” Phillip told WFAA. “We couldn't see anything, and I was just trying to find my babies.”
As rescuers worked their way into the vehicle, Emily begged them to save her children first.
"I just told them to get my babies,” she told WFAA. “I'll find a way out.”
One of the men who performed CPR, a former firefighter from Guatemala named Jaime Martinez, stopped by the hospital for an emotional reunion, WFAA reports. He learned that Marshal was fine and Addy was well on her way to a full recovery.
"I'm just happy they're okay," said Martinez, who told the station that his training as a firefighter just kicked in.
Both Phillip and Emily were in tears and they repeatedly thanked Martinez for helping save their children.
(MORE: 'This Baby May Not Make It': Terrifying Flood Rescue Caught on Camera)
Phillip posted a video Wednesday morning showing Addyson off the breathing tube walking the halls of the hospital on her own, giving out high fives, and snuggling up with her daddy.
“She's close to being herself again,” he posted Tuesday.
“I want to thank each and every one of y'all who have prayed and donated everything to help us,” he posted Monday. “It has been heard loud and clear and God has worked his miracle here today.”
Three others who were on the scene that discussed the power of prayer as they met again at the site of the incredible rescue, WFAA reports.
"When you came over and started praying – at that moment it gave me strength to continue and that infant responded right then," Tom Mitchell told Virginia Howard, who can be heard on the video praying over the children.
Mitchell, who performed CPR on 4-month-old Marshall, told the station they are grateful they were able to help and to be a part of a moment they will never forget.
"Getting married, the birth of my two kids and this.”
MORE: Severe Storms, Flooding Hit Plains, Midwest 

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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