The Villas - Avalanche Survivors
I had my baby Isabel on Nov 15 of 2016. She was born naturally and was beautiful! On the very next day, her health stats started to decline. On Nov 16 she was emergently flown out of Mammoth Lakes hospital (alone) to Loma Linda Hospital Where she was an inpatient for a week in the NICU. We scrambled after her in our truck and stayed with the Ronald McDonald house, amazing people. The doctors said if we stayed at sea level for a month it would allow her lungs to get stronger and it would be safer to return to 8000 feet above sea level. So we stayed in Ventura for a whole month with this brand new baby, in our brother in law's house, which was a total god send. So finally we get the green light to come back to Mammoth. We can finally go home. Huzzah! If you have been watching the news, you will see that Mammoth is getting quite a bit of snow this season. So Izzy and I are more or less snowed in for another month. Dreaming of sunshine and jogging days that will come with the summer. Well this baby, who has been through a great beginning, now has another notch in her belt. She was in an avalanche on Jan 22. The mountain came down. It sounded like a huge earthquake was going to hit but luckily I knew it was an avalanche. She was already in my arms. We had maybe two seconds to move before it hit. I jumped off the bed and ducked behind it. BAM! My living room and kitchen are now a snowdrift. Wiped out half our house and demolished both our cars as well as the storage trailer and god knows what else. We scrambled to grab the essentials and trust me, with a baby everything is essential. She luckily had her Chico car seat in her room. So baby went in that, up the snow drift we called a kitchen, through the 3 foot opening the snow left of our doorway. And into the elements where it was snowing of course. We walked a mile in the snow to our neighbors who put us up till emergency crews got us and put us up in a fire station. I am writing to you from a fire station next to this amazing baby who's first two months have been more exciting than my entire life!
Well anyways. With everything crushed, including my heart, we are starting a GoFundMe so that we have a chance of getting out from under all this.
If you actually read this all the way to the end I am impressed and thank you."
As you can see, they need us. Insurance is unlikely to cover anything, and everything has been lost. 2 cars, a boat, a trailer full of everyday items, clothes, food, and their entire living situation. Please consider giving whatever you can- nothing is too small. On behalf of our beloved Villas, thank you.
It's been a little over 24 hours since this avalanche interrupted our typical night in. Honestly in the moment it's hard to grasp the gravity of a situation like this. We are rattled! Even now I don't know what's next. In the next few weeks we will be working hard to piece our lives back together. We still have not been back to the house. But, it is still standing and the main rooms effected were the entryway, dining area, and kitchen, with snow creeping into the living room. We have no idea if the furniture is damaged or to what extent. The baby's room is furthest away from where it hit so we are blessed her things are mostly fine. She lost her stroller and other big baby items that were in the trailer outside. With all this support, I feel Izzy's jogging with mommy days are still bright with promise. We have seen a few photos of the house. It looks as if getting our things left inside out of the house is going to be a great challenge, but that's just it. A lot is gone while many sturdy pieces are also left. We are fortunate! So yes, we are without for a time but that is because it's unsafe to go back at this very moment when police and avalanche teams are still out there assessing safety risks. The real work begins now. Picking up the many pieces we are fortunate enough to be left behind. It's the prayers and good vibes from all of you that will help aid us in this new challenge. It won't be the first time this community has come together on our behalf. It's difficult to know what to say or how to thank you all. I'm so humbled by this experience. I'll never forget the helping hands that reached out to us in our time of need. The road to recovery begins now. Thank you for your support!
I want to especially thank
The long valley fire department for taking us in.
As well as all the PD, CHP, cal trans, and edison!! The snow removal crew and anyone else involved in the evacuations of Long Valley.
From Russell and Tina Villa
Hope you guys get everything you need!
Sounds like you already have lots of offers for baby girl clothes, but if you need more I'm happy to send some your way. I also have some extra diapers, wipes, hats, blankets, swaddles, etc. I'm in the SF Bay Area, but my family is in Crowley and I'm sure we can get them to you!
Your baby girl is about a week older than ours so we have a ton of baby girl clothes in Bishop I'd be more than happy to bring up to you! As well as a bouncer, swing, play mat, or anything else you may need Also a lot of men's clothes, not sure of the size you need but if they will fit you're welcome to them. Please let me know what you need & I will happily get it together.
I have baby girl clothes too! I would love to come drop them off somewhere for the family!
I have baby clothes as well - an entire wardrobe from newborn through 6 months and can keep sending as my daughter grows out of them. We live in Ventura and can pass along to your brother in law maybe? Please send me a PM - I can hand the clothes over ASAP.
I live in Bishop. If I have some items to donate, is there a person or place I can drop things off so it can get to you? I have a friend that lives in Mammoth and comes down to Bishop everyday, if that helps... And please let me know which items u need now. I have a 17 mth old girl who has a ton of things that we can give u!
Oh we also have an extra pack and play you can borrow for the time being so your little girl can sleep peacefully
We are in the process of cleaning out some baby things. I have lots of bottles and bibs and I think some snake hats for a little girl that you can have now if you need them. I live in Crowley and can get them to you asap. You can message me on face book my name is Jackie Powell