Things That Matter

Puerto Rican Factory Worker Loses Everything in Kentucky Tornado Disaster: ‘I Got No Job, No Car, No Way To Replace It’

Screenshot via YouTube

In the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes that ravaged Kentucky over the weekend, the Mayfield community — ground zero for the worst of the damage — is crying out for help. One of those Mayfield residents is Andrea Miranda, a 21-year-old Boricua who recently made a heartbreaking appearance on MSNBC.

In her harrowing first-person account, Miranda described her near-death experience being stuck under the rubble of the candle factory she had worked in. And now, as she tries to put the pieces of her life back together, she doesn’t see a way forward.

“Everything is gone,” she told MSNBC reporter José Díaz-Balart in an interview on Monday. “I got no job, no car, no way to replace it. I don’t know what to do now,” she said through tears.

Miranda described the moments before and after the tornado struck the Mayfield Consumer Products’ factory.

“They moved us to the sheltering area near the bathroom… We just waited no more than five minutes and what I remember is… boom — that’s what I heard. And I had some coworkers next to me, my friend Kiana. I hugged her and our whole entire wall fell on top of us, making us unable to move. I was stuck there for 2 hours, not able to breathe.”

Miranda went on to describe what it was like being trapped under five feet of rubble, thinking that these were the last moments of her life. “I thought I was going to die. It was horrible, horrible,” she told Díaz-Balart, visibly emotional. “Yelling ‘help, help, help, help’ and seeing there’s nobody helping.”

Now, Miranda says that she is having trouble sleeping because she is worried about what she’s going to do next.

“The only thing I really have been working for [my entire life] is for my car and my house — it was the only things I have… Even the candle factory that brought me here two years ago… everything is gone. Everything is gone. I don’t got my car so I can get another job, move to another place. No place to stay. Everything is gone.”

And unlike other victims, Miranda doesn’t have nearby family to lean on in these difficult times. “My family’s in Puerto Rico and I came here [at] 19-years-old. I’m 21 now and I’ve always been working so hard and now everything is gone. I don’t know what to do.”

When Díaz-Balart asked her if she had local friends to rely on, Miranda said that her only reliable friend she had in Mayfield, Janine, had died in the factory collapse. “I don’t see myself holding up [any] longer because everything I had worked for these two years is gone,” she said.

Thankfully, viewers saw Andrea Miranda’s cry for help and took to social media asking that she put up a GoFundMe page. “So sad. Her despair is heartbreaking. Please follow up and give her info on where to go for help,” wrote one concerned Twitter user. “How can we help Andrea? My heart truly goes out to her and I want to help!” wrote another.

Since her appearance on MSNBC, Miranda has created a GoFundMe page so she can get some much-needed financial assistance from strangers who were touched by her story.

“Mayfield KY Tornado destroyed my work place, leaving me trapped for 2 hrs under 5ft of debris, injured co-workers, and cars,” wrote Miranda on the page. “When I was rescued from the Candle Factory I realized that my car was totally destroyed along with everything that I had worked for, being not able to replace it and regain my independence and future.”

At the time of publication, Miranda has raised $14,025 out of an $18,000 goal. To donate, visit her GoFundMe page here.

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