INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Imagine your child is on an island, when one of the strongest hurricanes hits. She doesn’t have cell service so you cannot contact her. That nightmare was Angela Taylor’s reality after Hurricane Maria hit Dominica, where her daughter lives.
26-year-old Lauren Brown is a student at Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica. Early forecasts predicted Hurricane Maria to be less intense when it hit the island. But, it devastated the area, coming in as a category 5.
“We didn’t know if Lauren was alive, if she was hurt. We didn’t know what was going on,” said Taylor.
The university promised to call parents once students checked in after the hurricane. Taylor waited by her phone.
“Tuesday I didn’t get a call. Wednesday, no call. Finally, Thursday, at 3 a.m., I received a phone call that she had checked in and was safe,” Taylor cried.
They made arrangements for Brown to come home. On Tuesday Taylor, her dad Norm Brown and several friends gathered at Indianapolis International Airport awaiting Brown’s arrival. Brown was far too emotional to go on camera. It was an emotional reunion, but it was a reunion that, just days ago, they weren’t sure they’d ever have.
“This is the first time in a couple years that I’ve been without her. It feels kind of bare,” said Norm Brown.
Taylor added, “There was not much we could talk about. Just, ‘I love you. I love you. I love you.'”
Brown says he’s not sure when his granddaughter will be able to return to Dominica. However, he says the school could set up a temporary location in Florida, but the details have not been finalized.