Wilma was buried, trying to breath. A fireman kept talking to her, trying to get to her. Excruciating pain radiated from her arm and shoulder and she couldn’t move.
“I’m going to dig you out of there,” Wilma heard the fireman say.
The fireman found her, and slowly pulled her out.
“He was very gentle,” she said. “He was very careful not to make it worse.”
As the fireman lifted her out of the rubble, Phillips was there to shoot her photo, too, not knowing he had also photographed Wilma’s husband.
Someone found Wilma’s purse and returned it, but she believes her cane is still buried under the rubble. The photo of Wilma’s rescue has become one of the tornado’s iconic images.
The Chastains are just happy to be alive.
“I’m so insignificant,” she said. “I think, ‘why me?’”