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Tornado victim stronger

Twenty minutes after she found her dog, lost in the April 19 tornado, Sarah Towery had a heart attack.
“He licked my face, and then I fell over,” she said. “… It was just a very bad week, but I’m getting stronger.”
Towery, who is recovering from open-heart surgery, is not giving up hope.
Her manufactured home, located on Hauss Road, was destroyed in the weak tornado.
“I got there before the fire departments and saw that my home was gone,” Towery said. “It was hard to see all my stuff thrown everywhere and knowing that my dog was in there all by herself.”
Tinkerbell, a Chihuahua-mix, was found a day later.
Towery said that she considers herself “lucky” that she was not home at the time of the storm.
“My granddaughter and I would have been there … but she wanted me to take her to a sleepover,” Towery said.
“I don’t know what would have happened if we were there … I mean my room was gone,” Towery’s granddaughter, Chelsie Caudill, said.
Towery is staying with her daughter until she fully recovers from surgery.
“All I’ve got is my daughter, granddaughter and my dog,” she said. “That’s all I’ve got.”
“I want to move on, but I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Towery said. “I’ve provided for myself and lived by myself. I just don’t know where to start.”
Losing everything in the tornado, then having a heart attack, burdened Towery financially.
“ … I didn’t know how I was going to pay for medical bills and my medicine,” Towery said. “ … There have been people in this community who have really helped me out.”
The Lincolnton Marine Corps League, along with the Vietnam Veterans, Disabled Veterans Association and American Legion, donated more than $1,400 to help Towery start over.
“The Marine Corps League wanted to help out because her former husband was a veteran,” said Ray Trevino, sgt. of arms for the Lincolnton Marine Corps League. “Our motto is, ‘Marines helping Marines and their families.’ … We knew that we had to do something.”
Towery said that many anonymous donors also have deposited money into her bank account.
“I have no idea who donated the money … but they really have helped me out,” she said.
Towery said that she has also been “impressed” by the generosity of local businesses and fire departments.
“ … They have really gone above and beyond what they are called to do,” she said. “I can’t thank them enough.”
by Lisa Brown

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