Kentucky tornado survivor finds hope after finding out her pet dog is still alive

Our hearts go out to the many victims of the catastrophic tornadoes that stuck the southern United States earlier this month. At least 88 people have died due to the destruction, making it the deadliest December tornado storm on record in the US, and countless others have suffered from property damage.

But in the wake of this tragic disaster, survivors are now picking up the pieces and looking for signs of hope. For one Kentucky woman who narrowly escaped death, that sign is her dog.Mayfield, Kentucky was one of the worst-hit cities during the tornado outbreak, and resident Deanna Badillo just barely escaped from her home in time, along with her friend.

“My friend and I both said we’ve cheated death,” Deanna told WHAS11. “I think it’s because of God’s grace and I’m not done on this planet.”

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She says they were able to escape by crawling out of a hole, but the experience was too sudden and surreal to fully recall.

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“I didn’t see anything… but what I felt I can’t explain that to you. I can’t explain what it feels like to stand here and tell you what I went through.”

While Deanna and her friend miraculously, just barely escaped in time, others were not so lucky. Her neighborhood experienced great loss and destruction: according to WHAS, a four-year-old boy died just two blocks away after being trapped under rubble.

But in the aftermath, all the survivors are looking to regroup and see signs of hope — and Deanna got one in the form of her own pet dog.

After the tornado hit, Deanna assumed that her dog didn’t make it out alive. But two days later, a neighbor found it, and the pet returned home.

In the wake of natural disasters like this, the unexpected survival of pets can provide an unexpected sliver of hope. And for Deanna, it meant the world.