As East Texas still deals with the flooding and destruction of Hurricane Harvey, there are stories of great heroism — and of great tragedy — coming from ordinary people stuck in the wake of the catastrophe. One story that has gotten attention and combines both is that of Colette Sulcer, a Texas mother who died while saving her 3-year-old from drowning.
On Tuesday, Sulcer, a 41-year-old resident of Beaumont, Texas, tried to escape the flooding when she and her daughter, Jordyn Grace, were stuck in their car after trying to drive to safety. The two got out into the deluge of water and tried to swim to safety. The two were swept half a mile from the car in the flood. Somehow, Sulcer managed to keep her young daughter alive, even as she drowned in the attempt.
Police found Sulcer's body floating in the water, with Jordyn Grace holding on to her. They brought both to the hospital, where Sulcer was pronounced dead. Her daughter suffered from hypothermia, but with the help of CPR, she managed to survive.
A spokesperson for the Beaumont police department told People magazine that it was "miraculous" that the child was saved, but added that "it’s heart-wrenching to think of her growing up without her mother."
Since being rescued, Jordyn Grace Sulcer's story has captured the hearts of people around the country. A GoFundMe page was set up to help care for the newly motherless child, which raised over $125,000 in less than a day (as of publishing time) from more than 3,000 people across the country.
The story of Colette Sulcer and her daughter went viral, with celebrities such as Zach Braff boosting the fundraiser on his Twitter account.
But Sulcer is not alone. There are at least 38 people confirmed dead from the storm, and there could likely be more as the recovery moves forward and rescue workers clear out the debris. While the rain has subsided in areas that were hardest hit, it continues in places along the Mississippi Delta, and the flooding that devastated much of the Texas coastline remains.