Family calls son ‘a hero’ after finding them under the debris after tornado

Alabama

LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A father is calling his son a ‘hero’ after he pulled his home debris off of him and his wife.  

Eric and Julie Sward said they landed under heavy debris after a tornado picked them up and threw them hundreds of feet away from their home. They were stuck under the wreckage, but luckily someone heard them banging for help.  

Sunday night will always be one of the scariest nights for the Swards.

“I could feel us lifting in the air and started tumbling wherever and when we landed, the bathtub was on top of us. It was a whole lot of weight,” Eric Sward said.

An EF4 tornado destroyed their home. Eric Sward said he screamed for his wife to get in the bathtub, and then the tornado hit. 

“You could hear this vacuum tremendously loud and felt like trying to pull a roof off and when it pulled off it was like a boom sound,” Sward said.

Next thing they knew, Eric and Julie were pinned down and could not move. Their son, Chris, was in the home next door. He, too, was thrown out of his home. 

“I don’t know. I closed my eyes but when it hit, I hit a tree and then I looked up, didn’t know where I was at,” Chris Sward said.

Chris didn’t realize he had a broken leg and cracked ribs, and instead started calling for his family. 

“I just did what I think anyone else would have done,” Chris said. “Family or friends, they needed help.”

“He found us and stared digging us out and I said hurry up and he’s like dad the whole house is on you,” said Eric Sward. 

Eric said there is only one word to call his son.

“My hero. If he hadn’t been here, I don’t know it might have been the next day until someone come find us,” Eric said.

Eric and Chris had some significant injuries, so neighbors are helping them clean up, but no matter what, they still have each other. 

“If you believe in God, I guess he was in our presence,” said Chris. 

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