She Didn't Give Up on Her Wife: 'I Don't Feel Like She's Gone'

Spouse details Quanishia White-Berry's rescue, including amputation, from debris in Iowa building
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2023 6:15 AM CDT
Rescuers Amputate Woman's Leg to Pull Her From Iowa Debris
An apartment building that partially collapsed two days earlier can be seen Tuesday in Davenport, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

A resident pulled Monday from the apartment building that partially collapsed in Davenport, Iowa, the day before was only able to be yanked from the rubble after doctors amputated her left leg above the knee. It took hours for surgeons and first responders to rescue Quanishia White-Berry, reports the Quad-City Times, which notes that her wife, Lexus Berry, who'd made it out of the building on her own, was insistent that rescuers not give up in the search for her partner, whom she calls "Peach." Berry's words at the time: "I don't feel like she's gone. I feel like she's just trapped somewhere. I know she's just trapped. She's going to hang on."

She describes the minute-by-minute updates she received once White-Berry was found, "like a game of telephone," and how through it all, her wife was concerned about her. "She ... [wondered] if I was OK," Berry tells the paper. "The fact that she's trapped and asked if I'm OK, that's her character." She notes that she was brought in a hard hat to see her trapped wife, still pinned under the rubble, before the doctors performed the amputation. "It was a scene that I'll never forget," Berry says. "I just got to say, 'I love you, you're OK, you got this. Don't worry.'"

Berry also acknowledges that the amputation had to be done. Rescuers "had to make a judgment call. And that's the best thing for her, honestly, because she's still here," she tells the AP, calling her wife's survival "like a miracle." She adds she still hasn't heard anything from the building's owner or property manager. A friend has set up a GoFundMe to help the couple find a new home. As of Thursday, officials said three people remain missing. "It is believed these three individuals have high probability of being home at the time of the collapse and their apartments were located in the collapse zone," a city statement notes, per the Guardian. (More building collapse stories.)

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