‘Walking miracles’: Cookeville family shares story of tornado survival

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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A Cookeville family is sharing their story of survival just days after a tornado tore through their home.

Eric and Faith Johnson and their two small children were inside and made it out alive.

“We’re just literally walking miracles – me and my wife and our two children. There’s no other explanation,” Eric said.

Eric, Faith, their three-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son took cover in the bathtub.

“I could feel the house starting to lift, while I just sprint, and by the time I jump in the bathtub and just wrap my arms underneath her, the house shifted. You could hear the tornado come, the house shifted and pushed us out this direction, and just sucked and the whole house just exploded, and I was gone,” Eric said.

“I was praying to God that he would still be alive when it was all over, and in the meantime, I held on to my children as tightly as I could. I had Uriah in the left arm and Mya in my right arm. I didn’t close my eyes for a second, and kept praying to God, ‘please God don’t let me lose either one of them,'” said Faith.

Eric says he was thrown about 50 yards from his home. He has nine staples in his head now. Faith has two broken ribs. Their children have just scratches and bruises.

“We are just so blessed. It’s amazing that we’re literally breathing today. I believe we’re alive because God, there’s no other way, there’s no other explanation,” said Eric.

The Johnson’s home and everything in it was destroyed, but the family is thankful for the outpouring of love and support they’ve seen in the days since.

They’re hoping to share a message in their story of survival: “There’s no reason to fuss and fight with people and be angry with people. Hold your children, your wife, your husband, your loved ones a little closer. I know me in general, I will from now on,” said Eric.

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