Father's love keeps him alive during Convent tornado - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Father's love keeps him alive during Convent tornado

Maigen Holly, daughter of tornado survivor (Source: Family photo) Maigen Holly, daughter of tornado survivor (Source: Family photo)
PEARL RIVER, LA (WVUE) -

A father trying to make ends meet for his growing family is back in the hospital, now without work, after last week’s tornado left him battered and bruised.

Joshua Karsolich just took a turn-around job at BASF in Ascension Parish, starting last Monday, in hopes of making extra cash to pay his daughter’s medical bills, leaving his wife and 7-year-old son behind at their home in Pearl River.

His daughter, Maigen Holly, was born premature in November and was in the NICU at Ochsner Baptist when the tornado struck.

“I was looking forward to her coming home and seeing her in that bed,” Karsolich said as he looked through his daughter’s freshly painted room.

As the storm rolled in, Karsolich was trying to get sleep before his night shift, but once the tornado hit the Sugar Hill RV Park, that all changed.

“I grabbed the door to the bathroom and I closed that and I remember saying, ‘Lord this ain't happening, this ain't happening,’ and all of a sudden the wind got louder, debris hit the trailer and it started to shake and it just lifted and as it lifted it was like weightless for a couple of seconds, and you could just feel it slam to the ground, and when it slammed to the ground, it just disintegrated around me,” Karsolich said.

He was pinned beneath debris with his face submerged in water, but it was the thought of his daughter that helped him survive.

"The thing that made me fight the most to get out of that was my daughter, I didn't want to die and I'm wanting to see my daughter, and she should be coming home any day now. That's what we've been fighting for ever since Nov. 18 to get our daughter home," Karsolich said.

Eventually, he was able to free himself, but left with a fractured vertebrae, compressed disc, injured and infected arm, and covered in cuts and bruises. He survived, though now, the life he wanted for his daughter is even further away.

“It is the reason I went there, financially. We've still got the doctor bills coming in, still have everyday life. it's just one of those times where we've got to make ends meet, and now we're here,” Karsolich said.

Still, between his faith and his family, he won’t stay down, even in the face of a storm.

“I'll heal in time. When she's home, I'll feel so much better, which could be any day now. She's doing so good, she's a miracle in herself, so we're all a miracle," Karsolich said.

Karsolich is back in the hospital having additional surgery on his arm. His daughter, weighing more than 7 pounds now, is expected to make her first trip home any day.

If you're interested in making donations to the family, a GoFundMe page has been set up in their name.

Copyright 2016 WVUE. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly