As the death toll from Tropical Storm Harvey climbs to 38 and continues to rise, emergency responders have been faced with some of the most heartbreaking cases they’ve ever seen. One rescue in particular involved a 3-year-old girl with hypothermia who survived by clutching her mother’s dead body in rising floodwater.
Jordyn Grace was located by a rescue team in a Zodiac boat driving around Beaumont, Texas. When the team spotted a small pink backpack, they pulled her and her mother aboard. Unfortunately, Jordyn’s mother, Colette Sulcer, 41, died on Tuesday while her daughter held on to her lifeless body.
“Mama was saying her prayers,” Jordyn told relative Antionette Logan, 38, Wednesday as she recovered in a Beaumont hospital.
“Jordyn told me they were in the yucky water for quite a while,” Logan told the New York Times. “It’s a tragedy that her mama died, but it’s a miracle that Jordyn survived.”
Sulcer, who worked as a surgical nurse, attempted to escape the flooding with her daughter. The two drove in her car on Tuesday.
The Beaumont Police Department said Sulcer and her daughter pulled into a parking lot when the waters began to rise and then left their car. At some point, the water caught up to them and the two were swept into a canal and ended up floating about half a mile, said police.
Relatives described Sulcer as a dedicated nurse who worked hard to master her profession.
“We’re in absolute shock,” Sulcer’s cousin Vanessa Jackson, 58, told NY Times. “You hear about stories like this in other places, other people’s lives. Not here, not us.”
“We just need to be focused now on little Jordyn, who experienced something none of us should,” Jackson added.
A stranger who was moved by Jordyn’s story set up a GoFundMe page to help support the 3-year-old. The page has already received over $140,000.
“I don't know this young girl or her family, but I feel the necessity to help them out during these very difficult times. I will make sure [that] 100% of all money donated [will] go to Jordyn's education and support. As someone who has given my entire life to social causes, I cannot sleep until we do something for this little girl. As a father, my heart is broken. Please join me in supporting this girl's future,” Michael Skolnik wrote on the page.
(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)