Injured Washington man credits tornado plan for saving family's life

By Marshanna Hester

November 20, 2013 Updated Nov 20, 2013 at 4:09 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Joey Davidson is counting his blessings from his hospital bed at UnityPoint Health Methodist.

His visible battle wounds include scratches to his face and hands. Others are a cracked vertebrae, broken collar bone and, "I had a tree limb stuck in my skull they pulled out," Davidson said.

The Washington resident's wife and two children were not admitted to the hospital for their injuries.

He credits their survival to having a plan to huddle under a utility sink in the basement.

"We heard the roof go, the top story of our three-story house go, it was total pandemonium for eight seconds with cinder blocks falling on us," he recalled.

He says the washing machine kept the second floor from crushing on top of them.

The Davidson's hadn't lived long in their Washington neighborhood and the thought of it being gone is hard to comprehend.

"It was truly devastating what we saw. It was unrecognizable. You couldn't tell what street you were on," he said. "It'll never be the same. It can be re-built but businesses and families that have been here for years have lost everything."

With the help of family and friends, Joey says his wife recovered personal items, like photos, from the rubble.

But he says his brush with death should remind everyone what's truly important.

"Don't take things for granted and tell your family you love them everyday," he said.