Washington landslide survivor shares story of how she saved her baby as mud swept them away

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WASHINGTON -- A young mother held on to her infant son for dear life as the mud rushed in around them during last month's landslide in Washington.

She thought their lives were over. But they both survived.

Amanda Skorjanc is in the hospital, along with her 5-month-old son, Duke, who she describes as her "reason for being."

"I thought I wasn't going to make it, so I'm feeling good," Skorjanc said.

Which is amazing considering the landslide crushed her legs and arms.

On March 22, Skorjanc and her baby were at home when the landslide hit. Duke's dad, Ty, had just left for the hardware store.

"And then I looked out our front door, it was like a movie, houses were exploding,"Skorjanc explained. "And the next thing I see is our neighbor's chimney coming into the front door. And I turned and held Duke and I did not let him go."

Both Skorjanc and baby Duke rode the slide out about 600 feet. Baby Duke stayed in her arms the whole time.

"He was dirty and a little blue and I thought I was losing him so I would give him little rubs," she said. "And I would ask God to not take him in front of me."

Moments later a passerby heard Skorjanc and rescuers freed the two from the debris.

Duke's skull was fractured, but the baby is improving daily.

He's my motivation," she says tearfully. "Every time I get an update on him, it motivates me even more, to do my physical therapy no matter how much it hurts."

"We will pay it forward for the rest of our life," Skorjanc said.

Source: CNN/LA Times


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