Long recovery ahead for survivor of West explosion




Posted on April 23, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Updated Saturday, Dec 14 at 9:02 PM

WARNING: Some viewers may find some of the images disturbing - viewer discretion is advised.

TEMPLE, Texas — In the North Tower of Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Misty Lambert sees strength in her wounds.

And there are many.

"Just another scar, a couple of scars... everybody's got scars," she said.

Her arms are burned.

Lacerations and cuts cover her chest and face.

"I have about a thousand staples and sutures inside of me," Lambert said. "It's going to be a long road."

The mother of five was inside an apartment complex across the street from West Fertilizer Company when she saw flames shooting out of the facility.

Her four-year-old son and two nephews were with her. They raced to get out.

"My keys were in my hand, and phone was in the other," Lambert said. "I was literally walking out the door."

Seconds later came the explosion that sent a shock wave felt in a 50-mile radius.

A window pinned her to the ground.

Glass and metal shredded her body.

"I was screaming at the top of my lungs," Lambert recalled. "I knew I needed to save my oxygen, but I knew that if I didn't scream, I wouldn't get out."

She waited an hour for help to arrive, but she said she wasn't alone for those 60 minutes.

"My cousin died 20 years ago, and he was right there beside me... holding my hand not to let go and hold on," Lambert said.

He left her when her rescuers, Billy and Scott, arrived.

"Thank you for not giving up on me, because they kept talking to me," Lambert said.

After 20 hours of surgery, she woke up at the hospital, grateful to learn her son and her nephews were okay.

Misty Lambert's healing process will take months — years, perhaps — but she will bear her scars proudly.

She's a survivor.

"It's another bump in the road for me," Lambert said. "I'm saddened by the fact that people lost their lives, but I'm grateful that I still have my life."

Seven explosion victims remain at Hillcrest Baptist. All are adults being treated for lacerations, orthopedic and head trauma injuries.

Two adult patients remain at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple.

And two children are reported in fair condition at McLane Children's Hospital in Temple.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com