Tornado survivor released from hospital tells horrifying tale - - The News for South Mississippi

Tornado survivor released from hospital tells horrifying tale


Frances Lott will never forget Christmas Day 2012. The 86-year-old Pearl River County resident had just returned home from having dinner at her daughter, Lynn Smith's house when a tornado struck. She is now recovering at a relative's home after spending nearly a week in the hospital.

A pile of rubble is all that's left of Smith's house on Joe Smith Road. She had just taken her mother next door and was about to take a nap when they heard what sounded like a freight train headed toward them.

"By the time we got crunched down in the bathroom, it was on us and I have never ever been through anything like this in my life," Smith recalled. "We were all hanging onto each other, the insulation started falling and we looked up and the roof was gone."

Smith said what only took seconds, felt like hours. When it was all over, she ran next door to check on her mother.

"Whenever I got out of the house and I saw their house, I just thought there is no way anyone survived. No way."

But miraculously, she did survive. They found the elderly woman sitting in the same recliner where they had sat her.

"It was like you were there one minute, the next you were like a balloon with the air out of it," Lott said.

Lott's other daughter, Sue, is being credited with saving her life.

"I covered her face up and laid my body across hers. I don't want to be ugly, but it was like going through hell is what it was like," said Sue Lott.

"She was covered in blood I just started screaming. We sat there screaming and crying and praying rocking her and trying to keep her warm."

"All of the bones in her face were crushed. Her face was fractured in so many places they said they couldn't even count," said Smith.

Both Smith and her mother lost everything and neither had insurance. Right now, neither knows what they will do. But both say they are lucky to be alive.

"I'm just going to wait on the Lord and see what direction he sends me in," said Frances Lott.

A benefit account has been set up at Hancock Bank in Frances Lott's name. Anyone wishing to help the family can make a donation at any Hancock Bank branch.

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