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He ran a mile to find his wife. She survived the collapse of the Kentucky candle factory.

Jamie Rudolph
Posted at 4:45 PM, Dec 15, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Jamie Rudolph didn't believe she would survive after the Mayfield candle factory was hit by a tornado.

"I remember everything, I remember people screaming for their lives," Jamie Rudolph said.

Rudolph found herself stuck under a collapsed wall. Co-workers couldn't get her out following the EF-4 tornado, but one stuck by her.

"She said Jamie give me your hand. She said, 'Jamie I can’t pull you out, I’m so sorry,'" Rudolph said.

Jamie called her husband, Tim, and her mom, to say goodbye.

"I thought I was going to die," Rudolph said.

They begged her to hold on a little longer for her kids.

"She said you’ve got to survive, those boys need you," Rudolph said.

Tim Rudolph drove to the area immediately and ran a mile to get to the factory.

"Trying to find her, and I stepped over a couple dead people," Tim Rudolph said.

Eventually, rescue crews were able to free her, and she was rushed to the hospital.

"I have a fractured back, and I can’t feel my right foot as of now," Rudolph said.

Nurses and doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center were slammed as choppers kept bringing patients to them.

"There were chemical burns from the candle factory that we managed, and then there were some patients that were actually sucked out of their buildings and thrown hundreds of feet," Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui said.

A lot of patients have ‘crush’ injuries and long bone fractures. They treated around 30 patients, some of which were sent to the children’s hospital.

"To me, even though every person is a burden we wear around our shoulders, I think we do so with pride, and we do it for the right reasons because we care so much, and we want them to get better," Guillamondegui said.

Rudolph hasn't tried to walk yet, but her husband said he will be there every step of the way.

"I was glad that the Lord left her for us still, I love her very much, and I’m glad she’s here," Rudolph said.

Fortunately, the couple lives in a different town and their home was not damaged.