Oklahoma Senate Honors May 3 Tornado Victim

Tuesday, May 3rd 2011, 3:11 pm
By: News 9

Gan Matthews, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- On the anniversary of the May 3 tornadoes, the Oklahoma Senate honors one victim, who was left paralyzed when a twister ripped through the area. A day Hailey Mathis will never forget.

Twelve years ago a tornado roared through Bridge Creek. Hailey Mathis was 13 and home alone. Knocked unconscious, she knew something was wrong when she woke up.

"I remember I couldn't move anything, and i just knew right then," she recalls. "I just kept on saying, oh God, dear God, please don't let me be paralyzed. Don't let me be paralyzed. Like I already knew."

Hailey didn't let her paralysis defeat her. She's now a senior at The University of Oklahoma. She also works two days a week as a page in the Oklahoma Senate.

On Tuesday, May 3, the anniversary of that fateful day, the Senate honored her. Hailey says she was a little embarrassed by all of the attention. Even so, she has a message for others facing challenges like hers.

"I think people should never limit themselves," she says. "I think that they should see beyond their situation, you know, in the wheelchairs, or any kind of disability that they have."

A few moments with Governor Mary Fallin added an extra treat to Hailey's big day.