At least 21 people have died in the horrific mudslide that took out dozens of homes in Oso, Washington, but at least one baby has made it out alive -- thanks to a Good Samaritan who refused to listen when he was advised to leave the dangerous area. After Kody Wesson heard a baby's whimpers and watched as his mother, lying helpless with two broken legs, begged him to help, he did what he needed to do.
Wesson was driving along a highway when the mudslide struck. He got out of his car, which had narrowly avoided being overcome by mud, and tried to help, but authorities told him to get out of the dangerous area.
But he couldn't. Because he heard something. It was the faint cries of an infant in the rubble. He told KIRO News:
You gotta help 'em. How can you not? What are you supposed to do, you can’t just stand there and watch.
So despite warnings, he began picking through the debris until he found the infant, who was only 22 weeks old. His mother lay nearby with two broken legs, unable to do anything but ask this stranger to please help. Others then joined in the effort. The infant was found with bruising to his face but otherwise unhurt.
He wrapped the boy, named Duke Saddarth, in his coat and brought him to rescuers.
Both baby and mom are now recovering at home. The family released a statement saying:
We are so grateful to all the responders who jeopardized their safety in order to pull Duke and Amanda out of the debris.
Wesson said he realized later that if he'd been driving only seconds earlier, he would have been wiped out. And perhaps Duke wouldn't have survived either. In so much tragedy and loss and heartbreak, at least this is one story that can be celebrated.
Would you have left or insisted on helping even in so much danger?
Image via CNN