Ellen: Stephanie Decker
Two months ago, when tornados ravaged middle America, Stephanie Decker was at her home in Indiana.
“I knew that the weather was close so I picked up the children and I took them to the basement,” Stephanie said.
Once in the basement, Stephanie wrapped her children in a blanket and laid on top of them as the tornado destroyed her house.
“It lifted up our house and it came crumbling and crashing down around us,” Stephanie said.
As the house started to fall around her, Stephanie saw debris that was falling toward her. At that moment, she could have picked up her kids and moved out of the way of the debris or remained where she was.
“I didn’t think twice–I held onto my children,” she said. “They would have been sucked up into the wind.”
While she was acting as a shield for her children, an I-beam fell on her legs. In the aftermath of the disaster, Stephanie was hospitalized for many severe injuries, including the loss of her legs.
“Losing my legs meant nothing in comparison to what I still have,” Stephanie said.
After news of her heroism spread, Stephanie started to receive support from around the country.
“The president of the United States wrote a handwritten letter to me,” she said.
Stephanie said her whole family was thrilled to be invited to The Ellen Show.
“We’ve been so excited to come see Ellen,” she said. “I’ve been working real hard to be able to walk again and one of my goals is to be able to dance with her.”
Ellen: Stephanie Decker Walks Again!
When Stephanie‘s video ended and she came out onstage, she was in a wheelchair. However, a stage hand brought her a walker and she promptly stood out of the wheel chair on her prosthetic legs. Using the walker to help keep her from falling, Stephanie walked the rest of the way to the seat across from Ellen.
“You’re an amazing woman,” Ellen said. “The doctors said it’d be maybe a year until you can walk again. It’s been two months. Look at you!”
Stephanie said she’s been blessed with enough support to afford state of the art prosthetic technology.
“When I got it, I said, ‘My goal is to walk out on The Ellen Show,'” she said.
Ellen: Stephanie Decker Survives Tornado
“Clearly you had not gone through anything like that,” Ellen said. “How did you know that that’s what you should do?”
“Honestly it really was an instinctual thing,” Stephanie said.
After taking her children downstairs and wrapping them safely in a heavy blanket, Stephanie said she saw the tornado pick her house up.
“I watched it separate from the foundation and I honestly thought to myself, ‘How am I going to survive? How am I going to save these two kids?'” Stephanie said.
Ellen was amazed and called it a miracle that they did survive. She asked whether the children were injured at all. “There was not a scratch on either child,” Stephanie said.
Ellen: Stephanie Decker Dances!
Stephanie said that in addition to walking on Ellen, she made the goal to dance with her. Before commercial break, Tony started playing “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 off their hit album Hands All Over.
Stephanie and Ellen both stood up and started dancing to the song. Although Stephanie‘s dancing was mostly from the waist up, it was really special to see her accomplishing a goal that doctors said would take a year to reach.
Ellen: Justin Bieber Gives Stephanie Decker Tickets
Stephanie‘s family came out onstage and sat around her. Ellen asked Stephanie‘s daughter if she was a fan of Justin Bieber. When she found out she was, she played a webcam video of Justin Bieber that seemed to have been filmed sometime yesterday, as Justin was wearing the same outfit he wore on Ellen‘s show.
“It would be my honor to invite you and your family to come see me on my Believe Tour,” Justin said, offering the entire family tickets to the show.
The family seemed ecstatic about the gift. The tour is in support of Justin‘s new album Believe.
Ellen Gives Stephanie Decker Trip to Hawaii
Ellen noted that before the tornado, the Decker family had vacation plans.
“We were going to revisit the place that we honeymooned,” Stephanie said, talking about Hawaii.
Ellen told the Decker family, “You’re going to Hawaii!” and gave them a free trip to the Turtle Bay resort. The family seemed very happy and appreciative of the gift.