Fultondale man recovering from leg amputation following EF3 tornado

Alabama

FULTONDALE, Ala. (WIAT) — A Fultondale man is recovering from a leg amputation following the devastation and destruction Monday’s EF3 tornado caused.

Arnoldo Hernadez was trying to shelter his family when a tree came crashing into his home, crushing him.

“We didn’t have time for anything,” said Eloisa Hernandez, Arnoldo’s wife. “The alarms went off, and we woke up the kids.”

After the tornado passed, Eloisa realized her husband was stuck with their 5-year-old daughter.

“There was a tree in my way that wouldn’t let me get through,” she said. “The only thing I could do was scream, scream for my neighbors. I could hear myself screaming at the top of my lungs, but nobody heard me.”

Eloisa said her son called 911 several times, but their calls went unanswered. Finally, they were able to find neighbors to help.

“I just know I was trapped under the tree, but after that, I don’t remember,” said Arnoldo.

Surgeons were brought in from UAB, and his leg had to be amputated on-site. Once at the hospital, he had two more surgeries and was in a medically-induced coma. On Thursday, he was awake, able to eat and drink and talk on his own.

Eliosa said her husband’s actions saved their youngest daughter’s life.

“To protect my younger daughter, he used his body to cover her,” said Eliosa.

Arnoldo said he is in a lot of pain but is thankful for every single person that has helped his family. Eliosa has not left her husband’s side since the tornado hit.

The Hernandez’s don’t have health insurance and are worried about the medical bills that are already piling up. To donate, click here.

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