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90-year-old Man Buried in Tornado Rubble Tells Story of Survival

Bud Garber lost everything, but is incredibly thankful just to still be alive
WASHINGTON - It’s going to be a very special Thanksgiving for a 90-year-old Washington tornado survivor. Bud Garber’s duplex was leveled in the tornado, but he was saved. He said it wasn’t by chance.

Thinking about that stormy Sunday morning is difficult for Bud Garber.

He said, “It's hard to explain… my whole life flashed before me."

The 90-year-old man didn’t even hear the sirens. “"I was holding on in the bathroom and I felt like I was going to be pulled out of there. I mean it came so dangerously close."

There’s nothing left of Bud’s house. He took shelter in his bathroom, not sure if he would be found alive.

Amber Randall, a registered nurse said, "He was completely buried . There were no walls .There was no roof. There was nothing.”

She came out of her in-laws house and immediately started searching for victims. She said, “There was just rubble everywhere. I couldn't climb up it.”

Little did she know, beneath all of the debris, was someone she takes care of regularly.

Bud said, "The moment that I saw Amber I knew that I had been found."

Randall, who is Bud’s dialysis nurse, said, “I held his head. We rolled him over and then I was just shocked that I recognized him, I mean it was my patient."

Randall stabilized Bud and with some help, she put him in the bed of truck. As fate would have it, another familiar face stepped in.

It was Julie Stewart Hayes, the parish nurse at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church where Bud goes. She said, “Oh Bud, it's Julie. And he looked at me and it took him a second and I said, from St. Mark's and he said, ‘boy am I glad to see you.’ I just think God puts us in places at the right time."

Bud added, "It was reassuring to see all these people, very reassuring."

Bud said it’s a miracle he only suffered minor cuts and bruising. He said, “I'm very grateful to be here."

He knows he’s not the only one feeling thankful this holiday season. He said, “It’s going to be a very special thanksgiving. Very, very special"

And there’s more good news for Bud. His daughters said they went back to his property to search for memories and valuables. They found everything they were looking for, including Bud’s old Navy uniform.
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