Good News: Sumter flood victims return home with new beginnings, blessings

Good News: Sumter flood victims return home with new beginnings, blessings

SUMTER, SC (WIS) - A Sumter couple continues to recover after October's historic flood ripped through their home, and their story of resilience in the face of numerous setbacks is one that has inspired family and friends who surround them.

For every blessing in 2015, Sean and Chelsea encountered a curse, each blow, with this mentality.

"I just did it because that's what I had to do," Sean said.

The first hit: Chelsea's dad passed after a battle with cancer in May. That coupled with the first blessing, Sean and Chelsea found out they were pregnant with twins.

Then October's historic flood hit, and they woke up to water seeping through their front door.

"The first room I went to was their nursery," Chelsea said. "I started putting all their stuff up and then we left that morning and I think I was in shock the whole ride away from the house."

With no flood insurance, Sean and Chelsea lived in a camper while they gutted their home.

"I would come in here and see everything just torn apart in our house and that's the time during your pregnancy when you're supposed to be in here like, getting everything together, getting your nursery prepared for them, and the whole time I was nesting I was in a camper," Chelsea said.

That was until mid-November, when Chelsea delivered her baby boys Levi and Braxton prematurely at just 28 weeks. The boys were in around the clock care in the NICU while Chelsea commuted back and forth from Sumter.

"Being a first time mom, and seeing all the machines and the monitors and stuff they're hooked up to it's very intimidating because as a first time mom you're scared anyways about how you're going to take care of your kids," Chelsea said.

It was at that breaking point that a room opened up at Ronald McDonald House, where the support, Chelsea says, was invaluable.

"It was hard being away from family during the week and it got real lonely, and they just filled that void," Chelsea said.

Meanwhile, Sean stayed back and put their home back together piece by piece.

"The only way I could afford to do it is, we had donations and FEMA gave us money, so if I did it myself, I could afford to fix it," Sean said. "And we knew these guys were coming home, so that was the goal. The goal was just get the house done before they got home."

Now, the couple is back home. The best part, they say, is just being able to sit on the couch together as a family. The hope now that 2016 poses fewer obstacles.

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