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Injured Kentucky candle factory tornado survivor takes steps to heal

mayfield candle factory damage
Posted at 3:29 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 16:30:55-05

MAYFIELD, Ky. (WTVF) — Injured tornado survivors are in rehabilitation as they take steps to get their life back.

After the tornado hit Mayfield, survivors were pulled from the ruble. Jamie Rudolph was one of them. She was pinned under debris at the candle factory.

"I don’t know how any of us lived through this, I really don’t," Rudolph said.

On Christmas, doctors released her from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. A perfect gift as she tries to grasp what happened.

"I begged them,” Rudolph said. “I cried.”

Jamie has a fractured back and is in physical therapy. Other survivors are in the same situation.

"I hope they stay strong and get better," Rudolph said.

While dealing with the physical trauma, Rudolph is also handling the emotional impact. Right now, she’s suffering from panic attacks.

"To me it just seems like every day is something, I relive something every day," Rudolph said.

She went back to see the damage when she got out of the hospital.

"I got chills all over me. It was just very devastating," Rudolph said.

Surviving the destruction is hard to fathom.

"They drove me around Mayfield and it’s bad,” Rudolph said. “I cried, I just can’t believe that all of us made it."

She believes it's a miracle more people didn't die at the candle factory.

"Some things I try not to relive, but it’s hard not to," Rudolph said.

She is now focusing on her healing. Then, she'll figure out what's next for her life.

"I’m just taking it day by day," she said.

As for medical bills, she said workers compensation is handling it as of now. But she lost her vehicle, and finding a new one has been a challenge.