The news that rescuers have found a shivering toddler clinging to the body of her dead mother in the flood waters has hit home today, as evident across the social media world. The horrors in Texas are viewed from the living rooms throughout the nation via live-news coverage, and many, including the people reporting this news, are breaking down in tears.
These stories are heart-wrenching, but the scene of a toddler holding onto her mother’s dead, floating body has brought even more heartache today of the worst kind. The baby and her deceased mother were found floating in a “rain-swollen” canal in Beaumont, Texas, according to CBS News.
This story has broken the heart of social media users today. Tiffany Garrett, a Facebook user writes, “Just broke my heart, MY baby will be 3 in 2 months i cant imagine.” Another Facebook user, Jessica Carreon writes, “This totally broke my heart. Literally in tears!! Poor baby.” Whether the comment was on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or from an article on this horrific event, “heart-broken” was a theme attached to this story.
Many identified this tragic story with their own children and themselves. Much like Tiffany Garret, who said above that her baby is the same age as the child who hung onto her mother as the water carried them downstream. Reporters on Fox News live today have been covering this heart-wrenching story all day, and many of the reporters are in Texas for live shots. The reporters on the scene, as well as those at the news desk in New York City, become extremely sullen when detailing this story.
According to The Weather Channel today, the woman is identified as 41-year-old Colette Sulcer. This mom was driving along the Interstate 10 service road in Beaumont when the high water stopped her in her tracks. She pulled into a parking lot at a nearby office building, where her vehicle was stuck in the rising water, reports Captain Brad Penisson, of Beaumont Fire -Rescue Department.
A witness saw the woman attempt to carry her baby to safety, but the rushing water was just too strong, and it carried both the woman and her baby downstream. The rescue was harrowing as a fire-rescue boat caught up with the mom and daughter about a half-mile downstream just as they were about to disappear under a bridge.
They got to the mom and baby just before the swift running water was about to pull them under a railroad trestle, where the rescue boat could go not follow with the water being was so high. There was no room to get a boat under the bridge, which held the train tracks. So, when the rescue team spotted the mother and child, they scrambled to reach them in time, and they did.
The rescuers managed to pull the baby off her mother and get the both of them into the boat. They tried to revive the mother, but it was to no avail. The baby was taken to a nearby hospital, and other than suffering from hyperthermia, she is fine.
The names of the mother and baby were not released until today. According to CBS, the father of the baby was out of town at the time this tragedy occurred, and the authorities needed to notify him first before revealing the names to the public.
Later in the day, more details emerged, and witnesses say that the 41-year-old mother actually saved her baby’s life while in that water, reports People Magazine. Officer Carol Riley of the Beaumont Police Department said the little girl is 3-years-old and that mother “absolutely saved that child’s life.”
“They were in the water for quite some time. When the baby was found the baby was clinging to her. The mother did the best she could to keep her child up over the water.”
“The baby also had a backpack that was helping her float on her back and she was holding on to her mom,” added Riley.
While the rescuers tried to revive the mother, she was pronounced dead once she was taken to the waiting ambulance. The unnamed toddler is expected to be released from the hospital today to relatives.
Update Thursday morning: “Everybody at the hospital and the officers just fell in love with her,” reports Officer Carol Riley while describing the little girl to reporters. The 3-year-old told the folks at the hospital that “mama was saying her prayers.” She is doing “very well,” according to reports on the child’s condition and she was expected to go home on Wednesday afternoon. This is one of the heartbreaking stories coming out of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that people won’t forget, suggests Fox & Friends on their Thursday morning show.
The New York Times reports the little girl is now identified as Jordyn Grace, who called her mother“mama” during the rescue. A relative who was at the hospital with the rescued child, Antionette Logan, 38, told reporters that Jordyn said they were in the “yucky” water for quite a while. It was also Logan who reported how Jordyn described her mother saying her prayers while in the water. Sulcer, Jordyn’s deceased mom, was a nurse. Logan also told reporters, “It’s a tragedy that her mama died, but it’s a miracle that Jordyn survived.”
The Times reports, “In a region where it is difficult to find a person without a harrowing story to tell, the story of Jordyn, the 3-year-old who saw her mother die, moved all who heard it.” It hit Sulcer’s large Beaumont family, most of whom live close by, very hard.
Rescuers report that it was little Jordyn’s bright pink backpack that they spotted while out searching for people who may need help in the flooding aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. That backpack is also credited for keeping Jordyn’s head above the water.
[Featured Image by David J. Phillip/AP Images]