Mudslide Survivor Speaks Up


House completely destroyed from impact of mudslide


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Rescuers searching for missing victims of the mudslide.
Rescuers searching for missing victims of the mudslide.

On March 22nd in Oso, Washington, a giant mudslide swept through the town, crushing everything in its path. The tragedy left many missing, and 36 people killed. One of the survivors,25 year-old Amanda Skorjanc, now speaks up about her horrifying experience.

She describes that the beginning of the slide started out with the house shaking and the lights flickering, then she looked up to see mud and a neighbor’s chimney coming right for her and her 5 month-old son, Duke. She immediately grabbed her son and held on to him with all of the capacity that she could, never releasing the boy throughout the entire slide.

“I held onto that baby like it was the only purpose that I had,” she said. “I did not let that baby go for one second.”

When the movement finally came to a halt, Skorjanc called for help until rescuers arrived on the scene. Rescuers had to cut Skorjanc out from being trapped in all of the debris.

“I had my eyes closed,” Skorjanc remembers. “I didn’t want to see what was going on. I was scared and in so much pain.” 

Skorjanc and her son were rushed to the hospital. Skorjanc had completely crushed her ankle and severely injured her eye socket. Skorjanc has been told to stay off of her feet for 10 weeks, and will take an estimated 1 year to fully recover from all of her injuries. Her 5 month-old son, being treated at Seattle Children’s Hospital, is suffering from a skull fracture, but is said to be recovering just fine. “He’s my motivation,” Skorjanc says in terms of getting better.

While being in the hospital, Skorjanc has received dozens of letters from people telling her how brave she was, and how lucky she is to be alive.

 “I’m so overwhelmed with the amount of love and support we get every day,” Skorjanc said. “We will pay it forward for the rest of our lives.”