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‘Help me, Daddy. I’m trapped.’ Was the text message that Jessie Stevens got out to her father. Not because she firmly believed her father could miraculously appear from some thousands of miles away and pull her from the rubble. But because that was all she could think at that moment.
Jessie was playing video games with her friends. At nineteen years old, she could have been like other college students that were away from home. Maybe partying, drinking, but that wasn’t Jessie’s style. She liked games. And the sun was ready to come up when they finished for the night.
Never had a day gone by where Jessie hadn’t called and sent a text to her parents. She called earlier, but she hadn’t sent her ‘good night’ text.
Even though she wasn’t doing anything wrong, she didn’t want her mother to know she was up all night. She simply sent her mother an ‘I love you’, and prepared to send her day a text.
She had the message open, ready to type, when the ground rumbled and shook beneath her feet.
For some unknown reason, Jessie held on to that phone as she made an attempt to get out of her eight story dorm building. She was still dressed and she tried, she tried her hardest. But the buildings weren’t designed to withstand all that seismic activity and it collapsed with her inside.
She never lost consciousness and was aware the entire time. When Jessie realized the building was falling, she hurriedly climbed under a desk, clutched that phone and covered her head.
She didn’t scream or cry. She just closed her eyes, protected herself as best as she could and hoped with all her might she survived.