Hero Mom, Stephanie Decker,
Loses Legs Saving Kids From Tornado
MATT GUTMAN and GINA
| ABC News –
March 6th 9 hrs ago
Stephanie Decker, Loses Legs Saving Kids From Tornado (ABC
sky glowered black and Stephanie Decker felt the monster
tornado begin to suck her house into its vortex, she knew it
would not hold and she had no choice but to shield her two
young kids with her own body. She lost her legs in the
my leg was barely attached or it was severed. I didn't know
which but I knew it was bad. If I didn't get help soon, I
was going to bleed out," Decker told ABC News, which
interviewed her Monday night from her hospital bed in
37, and her family were smack dab in the middle of a tornado
outbreak Friday that included 140 reported twisters, 76
confirmed landings and 39 deaths.
nothing I expected," the Henryville, Ind., woman said. "I
never, ever thought in a million years my house would be
determined to keep her kids safe, and her actions saved
them, but at a steep cost. Not only was her home lost, but
both of her legs had to be amputated late Friday -- one just
below the knee, the other just above it.
assumed I was safe and I heard the roar like a train, and I
heard it behind me, and I knew it was coming," she recalled
today. "And it was so loud that I knew that I needed to do
something different. I knew staying put wasn't going to
acted. She dashed down into her home's basement with son
Dominic, 8, and daughter Reese, 5. As the house began to
disintegrate she tried to shield them with a comforter.
daughter said, 'Mommy, I don't like this,' and I said, 'I
know honey,'" Decker said. "I could see the wind. I could
see the window blew out and the house burst."
crushed under the cascade of debris.
remember the whole thing," she said. "I stayed conscious the
whole time. I couldn't afford [to pass out]. They needed me.
They had to have me, so I had to figure out what to do. And
my son is a hero. He went to get help."
legs were smashed. She'd also suffered a punctured lung.
children, however, were unscathed.
was her son's turn for heroism. He knew his mother was hurt
and he crawled out from under his mother and dashed over to
a neighbor's house.
... Dominic left," she said, "I realized I couldn't get out
because I actually used the comforter I tied with them as a
tourniquet. I knew I was cut."
came. Decker was evacuated to the hospital.
Overnight, her husband, Joe Decker, tearfully said that the
flattened house on Henryville Road had been their dream
Decker had told her husband she always wanted to have the
children's handprints imprinted in the foundation's cement,
because "we were never gonna leave here."
they are today. Small prints, with the "Reese," and "D" for
Dominic scrawled in the concrete, an indelible testimony to
a family still intact.
wake of her injuries, a benefit fund has been set up for
Stephanie Decker at Fifth Third Bank, 392 S Indiana Ave,
Sellersburg, IN, 47172.
Michael S. James and Ginger Zee contributed to this report.