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Father of teen who survived being crushed by falling tree: God brought her a miracle

Caitlin Shaw (Family provided photo)

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (KOMO) - A Port Orchard teenager who was struck by a tree during Monday's storm continues to recover at Tacoma General Hospital, and is listed in serious condition.

Caitlin Shaw, 15, was sleeping in her bedroom when a tree was knocked down by high winds and crashed through the roof of Shaw's house.

"I really can't explain how we got her out, to be honest," said the teen's father, John Shaw.

When John got into his daughter's room, she was completely pinned under the tree -- he couldn't even see her body.

"Finally, we started feeling where she was at - she was under a blanket," said John Shaw.

Shaw, his son and a neighbor, who ran over to help, worked together to free Caitlin from the debris.

"Tried to grab her legs, she wasn't coming. Tried to grab her arms, she wasn't coming," John Shaw said. "And then, finally, she started just slightly slipping out and I turned her head this way and she was lifeless."

The neighbor carried Caitlin in his arms into the living room, but the teen still wasn't breathing. Shaw, who's a veteran and pastor, started kneeling beside his daughter and began praying.

"I began praying for her and all of a sudden (she) started breathing and started gagging," said Shaw. "She was not responding, but there was life signs there."

Medics arrived and rushed Caitlin to the hospital. What's hard to believe after seeing all the damage is that Caitlin does not have any life-threatening injuries, just some bruising, John Shaw said.

"She's responsive, she can move all her limbs, no broken bones," he said. "How do you explain that? It's supernatural."

On Tuesday, the Shaw family's neighbors and church community spent the entire day at the house cleaning up brush and logs from the property.


"My heart and my prayers go to the family. Just one of the hardest things," said friend Amir Donyaei.

During the storm, the Shaw family's only vehicle was damaged, and some of their belongings are now wet and destroyed. They lived in a rental property, so they're looking for a new place to call home. Neighbors have organized a GoFundMe page to help the family recover.

The family of seven is just grateful, though, and counting their blessings.

"I preach this stuff-- faith," John Shaw said. "I challenge people all the time: Believe God; we're going to believe in God for a miracle. My daughter was a recipient of it," said Shaw. "My wife and I and children are blessed."

No one else in the Shaw family was injured during the storm.


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