Surviving Deadly Tornadoes, Woodward Woman Set To Celebrate 88th - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Surviving Deadly Tornadoes, Woodward Woman Set To Celebrate 88th Birthday

Posted: Updated:
Wilma Nelson Wilma Nelson
Woodward, Oklahoma -

A Woodward woman says she's blessed she'll be able to celebrate her 88th birthday with loved ones this weekend.

Wilma Nelson rode out the deadly April 15 tornado clinging to her weather radio in a bedroom closet. News 9 returned to Woodward Thursday to check on Wilma.

"I'm just getting along pretty good now. Life's not easy. At times I get depressed," said Nelson.

Nelson lost just about everything, except family photos, when the tornado took her home of 46 years three months ago.  

"Occasionally [I have flashbacks] especially at night. [I wonder] ‘How did I survive that?'"

4/17/2012 Related Story: Woodward Woman Shares Stories Of Survival In Two Deadly Tornadoes

Nelson is going to see her 88th birthday, she says, because she had a weather radio next to her bed at 12:20 a.m. on April 15. That radio woke her up and gave her the precious seconds she needed to get into the bedroom closet just before the rest of her bedroom caved in on her bed.

"That weather radio definitely saved her life, saved a number of lives here," said Woodward Emergency Management Director, Matt Lehenbauer.

Lehenbauer says thanks to a large donation, on July 13 the Red Cross will be giving away as many as a thousand weather radio's to Woodward or Ellis County residents. Those weather radios that normally cost $30 or $40 each.

"Wonderful! That's great! Something that surely everybody needs," said Nelson.

Since a few weeks after the tornado, Nelson has called Woodward's Providence Place Assisted Living Center home.     

"They're very kind here. And we have three meals a day. And I'm going to get lazy I'm afraid," joked Nelson.

Nelson's earned some rest and relaxation as she enters another chapter in her life.

"I don't know how god left me here. He must have a purpose for my life. That I'm still here I hope I can fulfill that purpose some way," said Nelson.

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