Updated:TUSCALOOSA, Ala.,None - Jonesboro native Latasha Temple credits her fiancé, former UGA football player Ken Shackleford, with saving her life and the life of their unborn child as the massive tornado ripped through their Tuscaloosa neighborhood Wednesday afternoon.
"I mean, if he hadn't held onto that mattress, I'm not really sure what would've happened," Temple told Channel 2's Richard Elliot outside her wrecked home.
The tornado ripped half their lakefront home off its foundation and folded it over on top of the rest of the house.
Temple said when she heard the tornado roaring outside, she and Shackleford picked up their dogs and jumped into an interior closet. The 6 foot 4 inch, 320 pound Shackleford grabbed a mattress and put it over their heads even as the entire house disintegrated around them.
"And then we started feeling the house shaking and the ground shake," Shackleford told Elliot. "And the next thing you know, the roof was gone, and everything was gone, and we were just trying to hold on."
Both Temple and Shackleford survived without a scratch. Temple credits their survival to the strength of her fiance. He is not so sure.
"I think God saved our lives," said Shackleford. "I did what I could, you know. I held the mattress. But I'm a big man, but not that big."