Platteville woman still recovering 2 years after tornado

Platteville woman still recovering 2 years after tornado

Thursday marked two years since a tornado ripped through southwest Wisconsin, tearing apart the town of Platteville and leaving one woman with nearly irreparable injuries.

Carrie Gates was picked up by the cyclone, and broke her ribs, back and neck.

“I just felt something grab me from the back,” she said. “It felt like a big hand grabbed me by the back and yanked me. I remember screaming, ‘I don’t want to die,’ over and over and over.”

The injuries required serious surgery and more than three weeks in the hospital. Two years later, she’s still recovering.

“I’ve had a lot of pain with my back, my upper back, that’s where all the metal is,” she said. “It’s just been really hard to not have the pain be the center of everything all the time.”

Gates is working with a personal trainer at Anytime Fitness to manage her pain through physical activity.

A couple months into the new routine, Gates got her balance back and her pain in check, and she’s become stronger in many ways.

“It’s just been such a journey and you know, there’s good and there’s bad,” she said. “I think it was kind of a wake-up call as to say, ‘You belong here. You’re important, you’re loved, and there’s a reason you’re here.’ There was a message, and that was it.”