An elderly couple, Bill and Shirley Wallace, got a phone call from their son Billy last Monday night just after bedtime: Tornado’s coming, get down to the basement. No big deal, they thought, down to the basement to wait out the storm and back up to bed after a bit of TV. But one minute later it sounded like a train in their home, as the lights went out, and then it all came crashing down.
Glass broke, boards cracked and a cabinet fell on top of them, knocking them onto the floor within a few inches of each other. Then once a flashlight was located, it was the burst water pipe spilling water, and the broken gas line that became a concern. “Well,” Bill Wallace said softly to his wife, “we’re gonna have to wait till someone gets us.”
They didn’t panic though, for a simple reason, “It was kind of calming laying there together,” Bill Wallace said. They had each other and, while they may not have known it, they had great neighbours.
Tyler Manivong, 26, and his wife, Sabrina, 24, had just had their own home damaged by the twister, they had brought one dog into the basement with them, and were lucky to find their other uninjured once it had passed. Their house was one of the lucky ones. Within minutes of emerging they were checking on neighbours. Manivong, an off-duty Nashville police officer, turned on his police radio, grabbed his flashlight and set off.
That’s how they ended up running to the Wallace’s house. They heard the call. Because even off-duty, these officers are duty bound to help when they can. And that’s what they did.
Manivong, along with Jacob Austin, 42, recently elected Wilson County constable, spent nearly an hour playing a giant game of Jenga to rescue the Wallaces from their collapsed home.
Bill Wallace said he wondered if he and his wife would survive, but remained calm. “There was a higher being than us with us the whole time,” he said. And he was right, in the end they emerged with a few scrapes and bruises and little else.
Bill teared up the next day while thinking about off-duty police officers digging him out of danger. “They’re our heroes,” he said. His son, Billy Wallace, also got emotional when thinking about his parents’ rescuers, when realizing one of them left his tornado-damaged house to help his neighbors. “It’s a little overwhelming,” he said. “To be thinking of others at that time is kind of unfathomable.”
Unfathomable or not, it happened, and is your Good News Story of the Day; find the full, incredible, story here. And it reminds us that loving are neighbours can come in many forms, from the simple to the astounding; and should be recognized for what it is – the good works of God.
Story and Image from USA Today.