Ellis County

‘I Wasn't Going to Let Her Go': Dad Describes Shielding Daughter as Tornado Struck

Father and daughter thrown into the air when tornado destroys their home; he suffered minor injuries shielding and protecting his daughter

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An Ellis County father who shielded his young daughter from a tornado while they both were thrown into the air was released from the hospital Wednesday.

The daughter survived with barely a scratch.

"I don't want nobody to go through what I went through,” Rob Parker said after leaving the hospital. “It's just something I had to do."

Parker, a truck driver and single father, was home south of Waxahachie with his 5-year-old daughter Paizlee Monday night when the sky turned ugly and an EF-2 tornado came roaring through.

"The roof, it was shaking,” he remembered. “The roof fell in and I grabbed a blanket and I wrapped Paizlee around her head and feet and put her right here and put her head right in front of my chin and I held on to her. And the house went. Everything went."

Their mobile home was blown apart.

The father and daughter were thrown into the air and landed between a tree and a truck.

"There ain't no telling what flips we did,” he said. “But I held on to her. She didn't hit nothing. I had her tight."

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Rob Parker shielded his daughter Paizlee when an EF-2 tornado destroyed their home Monday, May 3, 2021.

Paizlee barely had a scratch, but her father was bleeding and needed help. That's when neighbors showed up and helped until first responders arrived.

"I'm just lucky to be here,” he said. “The good Lord was with me."

Paizlee was back at school on Wednesday and hanging out with friends while her father was released from the hospital.

They plan to live with relatives until they can put their lives back together.

Parker said he did what any father would do.

"I just did what was normal and natural I guess,” he said.

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