On April 27, Jeffrey Hunter, a 22 year-old senior at the University of Central Arkansas, knew that a tornado was rapidly moving towards his house in Vilonia, Arkansas. With only minutes to spare before the massive EF-4 twister was to hit, he sent a series of texts to his mother, 20 miles away, that ended up being his final goodbye.
His mother publicly shared this heartbreaking story in hopes of comforting others experiencing loss.
The student texted his mom, who was 20 miles away. First he said, “Mama, I’m so scared,” Regina Wood, Hunter’s mother, told KFTA Television. He knew how bad it was, that they said it was going to be a direct hit.
I kept saying, “Are you okay? Are you okay? Let me know. Let me know.” No answer, Wood recalled.
A few homes down from where Hunter was hiding with his father and stepmother, Lyman Watkins crawled out of the closet he hid in with his wife and five dogs.
Hunter’s father and stepmother both survived, but were seriously injured. At least 15 people were killed in Arkansas from tornadoes, with 37 total deaths in eight states from the worst tornado outbreak so far this year.
Though she lost her only son, Regina said she was comforted that despite his fear, he thought to say good-bye to his mom. “That was the most precious thing a son could do for a mother,” she said through tears.
If you want to donate to the affected communities, the United Way of Central Arkansas is accepting donations. You can specify on the donation form that you want it directed to their Arkansas Tornado Relief Fund.
Source: KTLA Television