A true superhero and wonder woman, Stephanie Decker exhibited the utmost strength and courage when she saved the lives of her two children during a category four tornado that hit Henryville, Indiana, in 2012. Stephanie recently recounted the events of that day when she was featured in an episode of Rachel Collier’s “Wonder Women” podcast earlier this month.
The podcast episode, appropriately titled, “A Mother’s Love: Stephanie Decker’s Story,” is split into two parts. In part one, Stephanie recalls details from the day of the tornado, from picking her children up from school, to hiding with them in the safety of their basement. Part two of the podcast focuses on the aftermath of the tornado and what happened after Stephanie found herself in a hospital room with both of her legs amputated.
Continue reading for some highlights from the podcast and to learn how Stephanie turned one of the most difficult moments of her life into something positive:
On the day of the tornado, the Decker family found themselves in separate locations.
Stephanie recalls March 2, 2012, as a gloomy day with dark and eerie skies like she’d never seen before. Winds were strong, sirens were ringing throughout town and worst of all, her whole family was separated. She had one child in elementary school, one child in primary school, her husband working in the high school and herself working in a hospital, each on their own as the tornado began to make its way through Henryville.
Eventually, Stephanie left work to pick up her children, driving through the ringing of the sirens until they made it to the safety of their home. Upon arriving home, the three went into the basement, planning to remain there until it was safe enough to move elsewhere.
One of her main goals was to get her children to safety.
Hiding in the deepest area of the unfinished basement, Stephanie and her children were able to avoid some of the pieces of their home that came crashing down. Thinking quickly, Stephanie wrapped her kids in a blanket for their safety.
“As soon as I saw the house separate and the windows bust out, I wrapped the kids in the blanket and laid on top of them,” Stephanie said.
Stephanie heroically saved her two children in a category-four tornado.
With her children wrapped in a blanket and Stephanie lying on top of them, the children were safe from their home that came crashing down. Stephanie, however, experienced excruciating pain and a life-changing injury after a 20-foot beam came crashing down, crushing her legs in the process. With her kids led to safety and herself lying under what was left of her home, Stephanie was eventually found by a friend and police officer who was able to get her to a hospital.
Stephanie creates the Stephanie Decker Foundation.
Due to the many injuries she sustained, including a severed artery, both of Stephanie’s legs needed to be amputated. At the time, Stephanie said, her story was receiving a lot of media attention. She felt it would be selfish to make it all about her, so she found a way to use her story to help others by creating the Stephanie Decker Foundation, which supports children with prosthetics and helps them get involved in sports.
After creating her foundation, Stephanie said she realized it was something she was meant to do in life.
“I had to go through this to get there and realize that life’s not all about me. It’s not all about my family and we have a lot to share,” she said. “We can give back in a lot of ways and we’re just trying to grow that.”
The full podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts.
Book a Motivational Keynote Speaker
“The most difficult things to deal with are the things you can’t control,” Stephanie said on the podcast, sharing a lesson she has learned from her experience. As a motivational keynote speaker, Stephanie teaches audiences how to stay positive while facing adversity and how to turn any hardship into something positive. Her message of overcoming obstacles will motivate any audience to let go of fear and find courage in the storm, just as she did. If you’re interested in booking Stephanie to speak at your next event, please call 1.800.345.5607 for more information.