Nebraska tornado victim, 5, was from N. AL
MADISON, AL (WAFF) - A 5-year-old girl, who was killed in Monday's tornadoes in Nebraska, was from North Alabama.
Calista Dixon was one of two people killed in Pilger, a tiny farming town in northeast Nebraska. Calista's brother, Cody Murphee, told the Associated Press Tuesday that their mother, 42-year-old Kandi Murphee, was in a medically-induced coma in Omaha following the storm which leveled their home.
The Weather Channel reported that the family had just recently moved to Nebraska.
It was confirmed Tuesday that Calista's father works at the Applebee's in Madison and was notified about his daughter's death. Elijah Dixon said he is doing the best he can under the circumstances.
Elijah said Calista, or "Cali," as many called her, always wanted to help others and had big dreams of becoming a doctor. He said Cali's mom had just asked him to move out to Nebraska with them. It was a move he said he was considering.
"This isn't even the hardest part," Elijah said. "I still have to bury her. I still have to go and say my final goodbyes. This is absolutely, astonishingly horrible."
Cali's father said he found the strength Tuesday to search the internet for photos of the tornado's aftermath.
"That was a part of my daughter's life she went through... In a sense I'm glad I saw it, because it was the last moment she was here, and I'd take it any way I can get it," Elijah said.
Elijah managed a smile as he thought about some of his favorite memories with his daughter.
"She loved to do kid things: run through the leaves, play in the flowers and go swimming," he said. "Making cookies - you could probably get only a dozen out of a two-dozen recipe. She was very funny."
Elijah said Cali's mother Kandi is set to undergo surgery Friday. They hope her condition will improve over the next few days.
While Elijah waits to hear about her progress, he is left to remember the smile and love of a life cut down way too soon.
"I'm fortunate enough that the last thing she said to me was, 'I love you, Dada,' and she gave me a kiss on the phone," he said. "You ask yourself what do you do next, or where do you go. How are you going to handle this? This is a really heavy moment. It's heavy, which means it can't be moved."
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