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Survivor Story: Mary Faris

By Carrie Coppernoll Modified: May 1, 2009 at 4:22 pm •  Published: May 1, 2009
NOBLE — Mary Faris felt a sense of comfort when her bathroom wall fell on her back.

“When that wall fell on top of me, it was like angel wings,” she said. “It was hard and strong. It was over me, protecting me. I was in a cocoon.”

Faris crouched in her bathtub in the darkness, in the silence, as one of the deadliest tornados in Oklahoma history sucked her house away.

“I didn't hear the train noises,” she said. “I heard a little crack of wood, and I thought, ‘My house is gone.' I knew it.”

Faris, now 72, was the only one home in Del City; the rest of her family had gone to help Faris' granddaughter move to Shawnee for college. She screamed and waited. Eventually a group of men — she still doesn't know who they were — lifted the wall off her. She climbed out of her bathtub, over an end table from her living room and into the rubble that was her brick home on Angela Drive.

“I came out of that tub (and) all anxiety was gone,” she said. “I was so happy — so happy to be alive”

Officials ushered Faris and other survivors to Del City High School, where Faris was reunited with her family.

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