News and Tribune

March 2012 tornado coverage

March 4, 2013

Helping hands on The Hill: Some Daisy Hill residents rebuild while others move on

(Continued)

PEKIN —

“That was only the second time I’d been up on Daisy Hill since the tornadoes,” Kaelin said. “I started crying because it made me so nervous. My stomach started churning. It just brings back the memories of seeing Will, and my grandkids carrying him across the road and that leg dangling like it was going to fall off. It was horrible.”

 

WORKING AWAY

In the background, hammers pound away working to repair Kaelin’s house by the lake. It, too, was damaged in the storms. Days are busy for the both of them. Doctors appointments and physical therapy sessions fill their time. They appreciate all that the staff at University Hospital in Louisville has done for them. And even though they don’t know the names of the EMT driver and staff who rescued Callahan, they hope someone relays their thanks to the men. 

“I’ve worked all my life and I’m still fighting for survival. It doesn’t seem fair,” Kaelin said. “But I will make it. I will make it.” 

While some have decided not to return to Daisy Hill, others are eagerly awaiting the completion of a new home. Jackson, the 74-year-old who was in the house with Kaelin when the tornadoes hit, also lost her house to the storms. 

With no homeowners insurance and little money available to rebuild, she applied to March2Recovery for assistance. The organization agreed to finance the construction of a new home. 

“It took almost six months or longer of paperwork and being turned down. And a lot of people gave up. But with her, she just kept trying and trying,” her daughter-in-law and fellow Daisy Hill resident Dee Jackson said. “March2Recovery finally looked at her and said, ‘You need a home.’ She wants to live on her own. She’s like a kid in a candy store when they tell her she gets to choose something.”

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March 2012 tornado coverage
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