Americus -- An Americus woman and her 48-year-old son have no idea how they survived this month's tornado. The twister threw them from their East Church Street home. All that's left of the home is the front three steps. With broken bones and now the possibility of surgery, Mary Smith's road to recovery will be a struggle.
Shattered remnants are all that's left of Mary Smith's home. Mary and her son Larry dashed for the protection of their hallway March first as the storm closed in.
"Before she could get there, she said that the glass windows began to crack and break and blew into the house, and all of a sudden everything was gone, the roof had shot up, the walls were caving in on them, and all of a sudden everything was gone," said he son, Jerome Smith.
Both were lifted, thrown from the home in the blur of night. That night her other son, Jerome Smith, the Sumter County Schools transportation director was worried about his mom, but had a bigger problem to handle, finding buses to get people out of Sumter Regional Hospital.
Smith put his mother's search in God's hands, an angel may have come to his rescue. "We do know there was a black truck, someone that rescued them up under the rubble."
That angel got his mother and brother to an ambulance and eventually to Palmyra Hospital. It wasn't until Smith saw the home himself that he feared the worst. A call hours later answered his prayers.
"She broke some ribs and her clavicle was dislocated around her neck area, she's just doesn't really want to talk much about it."
After learning there could be surgery in her future, Mary declined to talk with us today. Now her family is focused on bringing up her spirits by building a new home.
"We got my mother into that house on Mothers day and that's important to us to get her back into that house on Mothers Day," Jerome said.
Jerome hopes to start construction on a new home for his mother over the next two weeks, here on this site. He says these three steps are symbolic of his mother's struggle the night of the storm, the first step represents God, the second Jesus Christ, the third the angel that protected his mother and brother the night of the storm.
Habitat for Humanity hopes to break ground on Mary Smith's new hope a week from Sunday.
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