Texas was hit with deadly tornados on Saturday, taking the lives of five and injuring dozens more. It was a tragic weekend for some families, and for others a very close call.
Phillip Ocheltree was trying to escape the danger with his wife, Emily Ocheltree, infant son, and 2-year-old daughter when his SUV hydroplaned and then overturned in treacherous floodwaters. Unable to open the doors of the vehicle because of the strong current around them, the parents struggled to find their children in the dark of the car as it was pummeled with water.
Luckily for the family, it's times like these in which heroes emerge.
According to the Washington Post, a group of about six brave Samaritans waded through the dangerous floodwaters toward the overturned vehicle, witness Tom Mitchell was one of them. Although he was unable to physically assist the rescuers, he put himself to work by documenting the harrowing incident on video. His footage captured the struggle of the men to open the car doors and carry the limp children to higher ground.
“Give them life before you try to help me,” Emily Ocheltree told her rescuers. “I’m fine. I am an adult. I can manage … I will figure out a way to get out of this vehicle, they cannot.”
After the children were rescued from the flooding SUV, the scene went dark as Mitchell set filming aside to perform CPR on the lifeless baby boy.
"This baby might not make it, this baby might not make it," he said he thought.
In the video, a woman begins praying, repeating, "Give him breath, Lord, give him breath."
With the baby boy bleeding, but somewhat revived, Mitchell moved on to the little girl.
"Talk to me, baby," he can be heard saying. "She's gasping, but I can't get it out of her."
A weeping man begs him, "Don't stop."
When the children finally begin breathing the video ends.
The siblings were rushed to the hospital where the baby boy swiftly recovered and is once again "full of life." His sister remains in intensive care, but in a video posted on Phillip Ocheltree's Facebook page, she looks to be on the mend.
“You have no idea how good it feels to know people where there to help,” Emily Ocheltree told reporters, her voice cracking with tears. “They risked their lives to save my kids.”
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters