LAMAR, Ky. — A Kentucky warehouse worker was stuck under a collapsed wall for several hours after a tornado struck Tuesday night near his home, and he needed a liver transplant to survive, according to WKYT-TV.
Derek Williams, 35, was brought to Kentucky Health Systems Hospital in Louisville where doctors and nurses worked “around the clock” to find a donor, according to WSMV-TV.
“We had a high level of care where every process was thoroughly checked,” said Kristen Hendrickson, senior director of ambulatory care. “No donor came forward, and at this point, we feel that he would not be expected to survive.”
Williams was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Williams’ wife of 11 years, Laura, described him as “the kindest man” she knew. She added that she was struggling to come to terms with his death.
“I wake up in the morning and ask myself if Derek is here,” she told WKYT-TV. “To find out that he is not is going to take a long time for me to process.”
Williams had worked at the warehouse for several years as a forklift operator.
A tornadic storm also injured five others, including four local residents who were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries.
According to the National Weather Service, a small twister touched down around 5:45 p.m. near the town of Millersville, which is about 40 miles southeast of Louisville. More than a dozen people were taken to various local hospitals for treatment of minor injuries.
Metro Louisville was under tornado warnings for a few hours on Tuesday night. Meteorologists later confirmed a small tornado touched down in West Louisville in the last 20 minutes, briefly touching down on several homes, according to Louisville.com. One home was uninhabitable.
Metro Louisville issued a tornado warning for a brief time on Tuesday. There were reports of power outages and funnel clouds. No injuries were reported at the time of the warning.
A tornado Watch remains in effect for the Metro Louisville area. This is the second of three warnings issued. These are issued when conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form. The watch was issued at 4:50 p.m. Tuesday.
For a full list of weather alerts, check the National Weather Service website here.