Incredible video has surfaced out of Canton, Texas, of what some are calling a miracle. Severe storms caused violent flash floods, tornadoes, hail, and lethal destruction throughout East Texas this past weekend. Near Myrtle Springs, a stranger came across a black Chevy SUV that had capsized. Fearing that there could be people trapped inside, he risked wading out into the rushing floodwaters toward the engulfed vehicle. To his horror, he found a baby, a two year old, and their father trapped inside, their heads immersed in water.
Phillip Ocheltree, 25, is a young father from Wills Point, Texas. He was driving home with his two kids, Marshal and Addy, after tornadoes had shredded the area on Saturday. Flash floods are notoriously hard to see, often being camouflaged by debris and being deceptively swift and deep. What looks like flat asphalt road ahead can in fact be a rushing flood of dark water.
Before Phillip realized what was happening, his SUV “hydroplaned off the highway.” The Chevy was tossed downstream and capsized, trapping Phillip and his kids inside. The rushing water was so fast and strong that it was impossible for Phillip to open the doors.
By the time the strangers arrived, Marshal and Addy were almost dead. Immediately the men began screaming desperately that there were babies in the car and for people to get into the water and help them.
Tom Mitchell, whose disabilities rendered him useless to help physically, pulled out his cell phone to film the unfolding drama.
When the video begins, you can see four men with what look like crowbars and possibly an ax, desperately trying to pry the doors open. One man in a white tee shirt is struggling so hard that when his crow bar breaks free, he falls into the water. He is pulled out by other strangers, only to try again with all his might to pry the door open.
Finally, after several minutes of maddening effort, someone screams for a knife. Apparently someone managed to push down or break open a window, and the knife is needed to cut the children’s seat belts. Meanwhile, on the other side of the car, the rushing waters are so strong that it takes three mean to open the passenger side door. As they struggle to hold it open, the man in the white tee wades his way quickly through the treacherous waters and pulls out little Addy.
At the same time, a man in a red shirt is able to reach inside and grab Baby Marshal out of his car seat. The baby is visibly grey, limp, and not clearly not breathing. People start screaming to make a space in the bed of a nearby truck so they can lay the children down and administer CPR.
That’s when Tom, who was filming, suddenly realizes he can help.
Tom puts his phone in his pocket, so the picture goes dark, but the audio keeps recording.
You can hear Tom and others administering CPR.
You can hear a woman crying and praying, “Dear Jesus, please let this baby breathe. Please let this baby breathe, Lord!”
In a later interview, Tom recalled thinking, “This baby may not make it. This baby may not make it. No reaction. Nothing is happening.”
As CPR was being given to Marshal and Addy, their father, Phillip, was also freed from the SUV and dragged to safety.
The little family was rushed to the hospital where the children remain in serious but stable condition.
“Life comes at you in a blink of an eye,” Phillip posted on Facebook. “Last night leaving our home, trying to get away from what was yet to come, we hydroplaned off the highway. The update as of this moment is Marshal is in excellent condition and is full of life. Addy Bug, right now, is fighter for lack of better words. She is stable and breathing more and more on her own but it’s all up to her as to when she is ready to wake up see everyone. Please, please keep my little bug your prayers. I can’t thank you all enough who came into the water and saved my children. You’re a blessing. Thank you all so much.”
Poor Addy was in a neck brace and only breathing through a breathing tube.
Just this afternoon, Addy’s mom, Emily posted, “An update for everyone on Addybug. She is awake and breathing on her own! She does still have a little helping tube but she is up and fighting everything off of her so Mommy & Daddy can hold her. We will update more as the day goes on, but keep praying hard please guys. They are working!”