Update: Feb. 5th Tornado Victim Preparing To Leave Hospital

    5:39 PM, May 9, 2008   |    comments
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    An Izard County woman, who survived the February fifth tornado, is finally being released from the hospital. The 44-year-old lost her fiancé in the storm and three months later, remembers nearly every minute of that day. Barbara Smith has been in the hospital for three months and can't wait to get out next week; but she says she'll never escape the memories of that night and the storm that took the life of her fiancé, Michael. Smith says, "All the windows came flying in, I screamed for Michael, he came and grabbed my hand, about that time the tornado took him off. You could see him go through the air and something hit me on the shoulder and knocked me down." Since that awful night Barbara Smith has been fighting for her life surrounded by her sisters, inside Baptist Hospital for months. Her arms, legs, and back were seriously injured. That night, February fifth, she lay in the rubble all night long. She wasn't found until the next morning. Smith says, "I hollered for Michael for hours and I kept digging trying to get out. I dug a big trench with my left hand trying to get out but I wasn't going nowhere because my leg was wrapped around my head and my foot was in my face and I couldn't feel my foot and I knew I was in trouble then." Barbara and her fiancé lived next to a farm where hundreds of animals were also killed that night. When she was finally found she was taken to the medical center in Batesville then flown to Baptist in Little Rock. Her sisters say by the time she got here her kidneys and liver had shut down, hypothermia had set in and it did not look good. Jan Cole, Smith’s sister says "She was as bad as you can be and still be living. They didn't expect her to live." Barbara won't be returning home when she's discharged, there's nothing left. Instead, her two sisters will move her to Saline County and watch over her recovery. She'll need another year of physical therapy. Barbara says she looks for to cooking biscuits and gravy and she gets out of the hospital; also planting flowers in front of her new FEMA mobile home in Sardis. Barbara Smith was a nurse in Melbourne. She hopes to one day work again once her legs are healed.

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