According to The New York Times, the toll for flood-related deaths in Texas has risen to at least 30 in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Faithit previously reported that an unidentified 41-year-old mother had been added to that list of fatalities. According to Beaumont Police Department authorities, that mom has now been identified as Collette Sulcer, an employee of the The Medical Center of Southeast Texas and Memorial Hermann.
Spokesperson for Beaumont Police Department, Officer Carol Riley, tells PEOPLE that Sulcer was driving on a service road with her 3-year-old daughter, Jordyn, when she got stranded in high flood waters.
Desperate to save her child, the Texas mother pulled her vehicle over and escaped with the toddler, but they were quickly picked up by the rushing waters that swept them into a canal over a half mile from the car.
Two fire rescue divers and policeman spotted the mother-daughter duo in distress and managed to pull them from the water just before they were swept under the trestle, at which point they would have been irretrievable.
Sulcer was sadly unresponsive and was pronounced dead shortly after getting to the ambulance. Though Jordyn suffered from a severe case of hypothermia, she is now in stable condition.
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“They were in the water for quite some time,” said Riley. “When the baby was found the baby was clinging to her. The mother did the best she could to keep her child up over the water.”
“The baby also had a backpack that was helping her float on her back and she was holding on to her mom,” she added.
The image of that little girl clinging to her lifeless mother will forever be etched in the minds of the Beaumont police—but in the wake of tragic loss, they find hope in the rescue of her sweet little one.
According to Riley, there is no question that this brave mama’s final act “absolutely saved the child’s life.”
Praise the God of miracles who makes His mighty hand known in times of distress, assuring us that in this, He is sovereign still.
Please join us in praying for the Sulcer family, that they may find peace and comfort during this unimaginable time.