HUMPHREYS COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The family of Tennessee twins swept away by floodwaters is saying their final goodbyes as visitation for the babies is underway.
Ryan who went by “Bubba” and his sister Rileigh just 7 months old were among the dead in the catastrophic flooding out of Humphreys County.
Wednesday family and friends of the family said they were heartbroken as they gathered at West Harpeth Funeral Home in West Nashville for visitation.
“I miss them more than anything in this world,” their mother Danielle Hall began to cry.
A parent’s worst nightmare is what Hall says she is living: “It’s a slow-motion nightmare for sure.”
As the rain poured down, the mother of 4 says she left her kids with their father and set out to get help Saturday, but she was swept away by the flood.
“I was praying like crazy that my babies would be alive. I was hanging on to a tree, I was just screaming please go save my babies,” Hall explained.
The babies slipping from the arms of their father, she says, who was able to rescue their other two children.
“My 5-year-old swam up to the top and grabbed on to his neck and didn’t let go, and he even lost our 19-month-old. He said he saw her arms flapping in the water. There was no signs of our twins at all.”
Bubba and Riley remembered as “happy babies” by their mother who says today she is just trying to stay strong for the rest of her family.
“I want them to be remembered as the best babies in this world.”
The family says they have received an outpouring of support.
“We just want say thank you so much to everybody that has reached out to us and our family. Y’all don’t know what it means at this time for us, and we appreciate everything that everybody has been doing for us,” the grandmother of the twins Angie Willeby cried.
A GoFundMe account for the family has now surpassed $100,000. Hall said the donors are “angels,” but she wants to make sure others in their community aren’t forgotten.
“I don’t want all the attention on us. Just please donate to others that need help to, because it’s a lot that needs help,” said Hall.
An official at the funeral home said an anonymous donor paid off the funeral service for the twins.
Visitation will continue Thursday, followed by a 1 p.m. funeral service.