FULTONDALE, Ala. — An Alabama community is coming together to help a father of three who lost his leg while saving his youngest daughter during Monday’s deadly tornado.
Two GoFundMe pages have been set up for Arnoldo Vasquez-Hernandez, of Fultondale. Vasquez-Hernandez was placed into a medically induced coma after being injured when a tree fell onto his home, AL.com reported.
His family lost everything in the storm, which killed one person in the suburban Birmingham city.
Elliot Hernandez, a 14-year-old boy unrelated to Vasquez-Hernandez, was the storm-related fatality, WIAT reported.
Vasquez-Hernandez and his family had returned to their home when they heard sirens warning of the impending tornado.
Vasquez-Hernandez and his wife rushed to get the kids -- ages 12, 9 and 7 -- out of bed, family friend Koty Ray told AL.com.
While the two older children were ushered to safety in the basement by Vasquez-Hernandez’s wife, Eloisa, the youngest child was being carried by Vasquez-Hernandez when a tree fell into the home, according to AL.com.
The tree struck Vasquez-Hernandez, who used his body to shield his daughter as he was pinned to the floor, WBRC reported.
“He saved her life,’' Monica Cordova, another family friend, told AL.com.
Vasquez-Hernandez’s niece, Selene Concepcion, said her uncle is awake and ate his first meal Thursday, according to WBRC.
“Every time he wakes up from the anesthesia that they had put him on every time he wakes up he will ask for his kids (and ask) how are they doing, how are they handling things out,” Concepion told the television station. “They don’t know yet that their dad lost a leg, so it’s going to be really a shock for them to know that their dad lost a leg.”
People who would like to donate to the Vasquez-Hernandez family can visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/29h741rxk0 or https://gofund.me/a27c58d3. As of late Thursday, one page has raised more than $13,900, while the other page has raised more than $10,900.