An Arkansas mother says she finds solace in text messages sent to her by her son just before he was killed by a ravaging tornado that swept through parts of the country last week.
22-year-old Jeffrey Hunter was a promising computer science major and senior at University of Central Arkansas, and on April 27, his young life, along with many others, was taken by the devastating tornado. His mother Regina Wood recalls the text message conversation she had with her son just moments before he was killed.
"First he said, ‘Mama, I'm so scared," said Wood to KNWA. “He knew how bad it was, these say it's going to be a direct hit. I have a text on my phone as the tornado was hitting. ‘Goodbye mama.’”
Wood, who was 20 miles away from her son when the tornado hit, immediately responded to let her son know that she loved him and that he would survive, but unfortunately, the tornado killed him. Hunter was found unconscious after the tornado hit and ultimately died of the injuries he sustained. The promising young student was with his father and stepmother when the tornado hit, but those two survived.
In the wake of the devastating tornado that took many lives, including Hunter’s, President Obama is planning to visit devastated areas on Wednesday. So far, 15 people are confirmed dead and 160 are being treated for injuries. Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor expressed his gratitude towards President Obama for coming to assess the situation and provide funds for rebuilding.
"We have disaster relief funding headed our way, but there's more we can do to give Arkansans the help they need," said Pryor in a statement. "I'm pleased the president is headed to Arkansas and can see the devastation firsthand."
Still, all the federal funding in the world will never bring back the victims that were lost because of the devastating tornado, and as Regina Wood grapples with having to bury her son, she says she finds comfort in the fact that he said goodbye.