The piece provides the back story of the photo with Routon and Hezekiah, who are friends and neighbors and what happened that day. Hezekiah plays youth football, and sports is part of the bond between the families.
Hellstern told ESPN, “I think almost without a doubt this is the most impactful photo that I have taken. They had this bond, and that bond was made even stronger after the tornado.”
Waynel Mayes, Hezekiah’s teacher at Briarwood: “The walls had fallen down on us. We could just smell gas, and I thought that was how we might go.”
Hezekiah’s father, Joseph Darbon: “It looked like a war zone. I almost lost hope when I got there, I couldn’t believe how anybody would’ve survived that.”