Floods in Texas have been a serious issue several times for the last handful of years. But it is in these times of challenge and sorrow that God’s goodness is often revealed. Back in the spring of 2017, we shared the incredible story of how a group of strangers bravely rescued an infant and a toddler from a vehicle that had been flipped upside down into raging floodwaters after a tornado hit their East Texas town. The family, who were identified as Emily and Phillip Ocheltree, got the chance to meet the good samaritans who saved their babies!
More than 16 million people have watched the following six-minute cell phone video, where strangers surround Phillip Ocheltree and his family’s truck and work tirelessly to rescue the family from the death trap. The viral video has moments of sheer panic, followed by a calm peace, as one woman on scene begins to pray over the children. Eighteen-month-old Addyson (Addy) and four-month-old Marshal are alive today because of their heroic acts.
Widespread curiosity has grown about the condition of both children, as well as the identities of the two mystery men that saved them.
“I just want to hug those people who helped us,” Emily told local news.
The family was trying to find a storm shelter on Saturday afternoon in between rounds of relentless and severe weather in East Texas. Floodwater washed their vehicle off the road, then flipped it upside down.
“It was just black,” Phillip explained. “We couldn’t see anything, and I was just trying to find my babies.”
The terror of what was going through their minds is almost too much to imagine.
“I just told them to get my babies, I’ll find a way out,” Emily said.
After the group of strangers pulled Addy and Marshal from the cab, two men immediately began to resuscitate them.
Jamie Martinez was one of the men who helped Emily and Phillip Ocheltree
A former firefighter in Guatemala, Jamie now works as a musician in North Texas, but he never forgot his CPR training.
Jamie surprised Phillip Ocheltree and his family at the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where their child, Marshal was released the previous Monday and Addy was still in the hospital, but in stable condition.
Emily got the chance she had been waiting for—to hug one of the men who saved her babies. The couple embraced the stranger-turned-friend, and the looks on their faces express the gratitude that words can’t.
Watch this video as Emily and Phillip Ocheltree explain what happened.
After that initial meeting with Jamie Martinez, they later were able to meet a second hero, Thomas Mitchell. Thomas Mitchell recorded the 6-second video of the heroes in action, before jumping into to give the children CPR.
In an interview by ABC, Thomas Mitchell said, “I don’t feel like a hero now. I just felt like I was able to help some people out.”
To watch the video of Emily and Phillip Ocheltree meeting Thomas Mitchell, check it out on abcnewsgo.com.
The family met the heroes on May 1, and on the same day a YouCaring account was set up to support the family wit all the medical bills, but that has since been taken down.
Phillip Ocheltree and his family continued posting regular updates using the hashtag #TeamAddyBug.
On May 3, the family announced that Addy has also been released from the hospital and came home. They posted a photo of Addy sleeping in bed peacefully.
Do you have information about where Mitchell, Addy, Emily, and Phillip Ocheltree are today? Post below.