HARROWING EXPERIENCE Reatha Hodges' daughter-in-law, Katrina Hodges, inset, was critically injured when Saturday's tornado ripped through her Willow Lake Road home, tossing it to the other side of the road and smashing it into pieces. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 19, 2000
Those who know her say Katrina Hodges won't let the Saturday tornado that ripped through her Willow Lake Road home take the one thing she has left her life.
From a room in the intensive care unit of Jackson's University Medical Center, a weak Hodges recounted her harrowing story to family members.
A day after major surgery to repair her pelvis, Hodges' mother-in-law, Reatha Hodges, spoke for her.
Hodges' trailer had been in the direct line of the tornado. In one fell swoop, the twister picked up the mobile home, threw it across the road and reduced it to splinters and bits of insulation. The bulk of the debris lay scattered some 80 to 100 feet from where it sat on its foundation. Katrina was found another 30 feet away, down a slope in a neighbor's backyard.
Reatha Hodges learned of the tornado at work and, using a back road, came to the aid of her daughter-in-law.
Reatha Hodges said she tried to calm family members, many of whom live in nearby homes.
On Sunday, Katrina endured more than five hours of surgery in which surgeons installed permanent steel rods in her broken pelvis.
The 32-year-old woman will face another surgery in five to seven days to repair her spine and will endure a long hospital stay to help her recover from broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Reatha Hodges said family members are grateful to have her still with them.
At press time, Katrina was listed in critical but stable condition.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at email@example.com.