Inspiring Hero: Mom Who Lost Legs Saving Children From Tornado Returns Home

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tornado momI’ve been obsessed with Stephanie Decker from the moment I read about her terrible ordeal earlier this month. The 36-year-old Indiana mother of two lost both her legs while saving her children from a tornado that crushed their family home. She literally covered her kids with her body to protect them and, miraculously, they walked away without a scratch. Stephanie is a hero and it just blows my mind that she was able to save her children’s lives like this; I think it’s something that every mother claims she’d do but few are ever put to the test (thank goodness).

In the days following, Stephanie’s husband Joe Decker told her, “You’re alive and you get to see your kids grow up,” which of course tugged on my heartstrings in a million different ways. Stephanie has since returned home and, I must say, her attitude is absolutely inspiring.

I have a second chance at life,” Stephanie said as just before heading home with Joe and their two children, 8-year-old Dominic and 5-year-old Reese. “We survived something that was pretty traumatic… I’m here, so I get to raise my kids.”

Stephanie has been in rehab for the past month and she still has a long road ahead of her. According to reports, the next step in her recovery process is determining if one of her legs is ready for a skin graft, which would prepare the way for a prosthetic. But Stephanie’s anxious to move on: “I want to be out and active. I don’t want to be stuck in a bed.”

People from all over the world helped donate time and money towards renovating the family’s home – including making it wheelchair-accessible – and helping to cover medical bills. But Stephanie told USA Today she’s equally as grateful for all the messages she’s received from mothers saying her story reminds them to value their time with their children.

“We’re all continually running around and doing all the things that we need to get done, the grocery store, and putting our kids in ball,” she said. “Sometimes we tend to forget that the most important thing is just being with them and growing up with them.” It’s this last quote in particular that brings tears to my eyes because it is so very true. And if there’s anyone who gets this point across and reminds us of what truly matters in life, it’s Stephanie Decker.

(Photo: MSNBC)