Brookport tornado survivor still striving to get on with her li - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Brookport tornado survivor still striving to get on with her life

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BROOKPORT, IL (KFVS) - It's been nearly three months since the deadly tornado ripped through Brookport.

And for one of the survivors of the storm, she is still trying to put the pieces of her life back together.

Fifty-nine-year-old Norma Varvel suffered in a hospital for nearly two weeks in a coma, after the tornado tore her mobile home into three pieces.

"They told me I had two bleeding places on my brain," Varvel said. "I got three fractured vertebrae, my legs they sometimes don't want to work. I can't hear out of my right ear and my eyes are still kind of blurry."

Norma's 17-year-old granddaughter Bethany Varvel was with her on that Sunday afternoon when their lives were changed forever.

She suffered a collapsed lung from the storm.

"We was sitting eating and my mom called and said to turn on the weather," Bethany said. "We turned on the TV. And then maw-maw went to close the door. And that's when the trailer started shaking. I woke up outside and I tried to wake my grandma. But I couldn't wake her up. And then I ran home and got my dad."

And both women have lost so much more leading up to the day of the storm.

"My husband he died on November 12, it's been over a year now," said Norma. "Then my brother died in January and my daughter died on July 24. And then here comes the tornado," Varvel said. "I come out with nothing, not a dish a spoon, or a cup. I got nothing."

She has been able to get another mobile home with the funds she got from FEMA.

But that's all she's been able to get, no furniture, no household items and no clothes. And she has no more money.

Her granddaughter tries to help her get through day by day.

"I've been with her through everything," Bethany said. "I try to make her laugh. And we cut up sometimes. We just try to make the best of things."

Brookport Councilwoman Kathy Tucker is coordinating donations for Norma at this time.

Tucker can be reached at 618-638-4045, if you'd like to help Norma get back on her feet.

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