Survivor of Scout Ranch tornado says good can come out of traged - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Survivor of Scout Ranch tornado says good can come out of tragedy

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Damage from the tornado that ripped through the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in June of 2008. Damage from the tornado that ripped through the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in June of 2008.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

The tornado in Moore, Oklahoma is a tragic reminder for all of us, that life can change in an instant.

Now, a Siouxland survivor of a similar disaster is recalling what he went through to spread a message, that good can come out of even the worst situations.

There's been a lot of destruction in Moore, Oklahoma.

But despite all of the bad, a Siouxland survivor of a similar tragedy recalls that traumatic events can bring out the good in humanity.

"Thinking about the stewardship shown to you by others. It's really impacting," said Thomas Auen, tornado survivor.

Thomas Auen was seriously hurt in the tornado that hit the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in June of 2008.

He and others were pinned underneath a chimney that broke up into a pile of rubble as it came crashing down in the camp's north shelter.

"As I took shelter underneath one of the tables in the shelter, I lost consciousness. The next thing I remember fully being alert was being in the hospital," said Auen.

Four were killed and 48 were injured in the disaster.

Auen is grateful for the doctors who helped repair his broken hip, shoulder, and jaw, as well as his dislocated left hip and damaged trachea.

He attributes his psychological well-being to community support, including brave volunteers who helped saved his life.

"The actual people down there that helped me get out of the shelter, who actually dug me out when I was unconscious and getting me up here," said Auen.

Although Auen says he can't fully understand what those in Oklahoma are going through, there is unity with those who feel pain and joy in hearing of another's sacrifice.

"You see the wonderful stories of teachers covering their students, I mean losing their lives trying to save others," said Auen.

"The images of that really pull me back from the pain that I feel from thinking about the past, and really put me in a state of hope for the future," said Auen.

Images that Auen hopes motivate others, not just to sympathize but to help, just as he was helped.

"Those people that really go out and help out, just doing what they can, those are the real saints in the world," said Auen.

Auen graduated from Bishop Heelan High School last year.

He currently attends Grinnell College and plans on eventually going to medical school.

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