A mother says her family is surrounded by love after the death of the family’s father in a plane crash and their 11-year-old daughter was seriously injured.
A small plane crash flying over northern Lake Michigan crashed on Beaver Island on November 13. Eleven-year-old Laney Perdue was the only survivor out of the commuter plane's five occupants. Her mother, Christie, says her 43-year-old dad's last act was wrapping his arms around her.
“That’s really her last memory," Christie tells local news station WoodTV, "that big bear hug from dad."
The family is well-known as Christie is the President of the Northern Michigan Catholic Foundation. She says her daughter surviving was a miracle.
"The fact that she’s here and the fact that she’s walking and talking and will make a full recovery … is a miracle.”
"There isn’t anything else that is needed other than prayers."
The Diocese of Gaylord said the family is an integral part of their catholic community.
"We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and extend our sympathy and prayers to all the families grieving the loss of their loved ones. Please continue to join in prayer for those who have died and for all those who mourn," they write on Facebook while announcing a special rosary.
The family returned home to Beaver Island Wednesday once Laney was able to leave the hospital.
"She achieved her goal of being able to use crutches. She even made it up the stairs to her bedroom. She loves her new room and is happy to be home. God had big plans for this girl!" Amy Mertz writes on Caring Bridge. "There isn’t anything else that is needed other than prayers."
The father, Mike, will be buried on the island on December 11.
In a GoFundMe message, family friends write "there are many broken bones and injuries but most of them are ones that are going to heal on their own, another miracle!"
Christie says they have been surrounded by love from their community and other states including #LettersforLaney from people in New York and Minnesota. She is asking for prayers for her family.
The fundraiser has raised more than $163,000 for the family.