It has only been a few months since those deadly storms swept through Kentucky back in December (2021). We have all seen the devastation and heard the stories of pain, suffering, and loss. We have also seen and heard many stories of hope and humanity, surrounding communities lending a hand however they can to help. I want to share one of those stories that is just now being made public, thanks to the Graves County Sheriff's Office. It's a story about an unlikely hero, and as the story unfolds, it reveals several layers of good news.

The First Layer of Good News

On December 10, 2021, Marco Sanchez was an inmate of the Graves County Jail. That night he was working at the now-infamous candle factory that was destroyed by the storms. After the tornado hit, Marco found himself beneath the rubble - he had a broken leg and cracked ribs. He was eventually able to find a way out of the rubble. At this point, I don't think anyone would have blamed Marco if he just got out of there and found somewhere safe - but that is NOT what he did.  Despite his injuries, Mr. Sanchez went back into the factory where he pulled more people from the rubble and helped provide aid to others.

Candle Factory Destroyed in Mayfield, KY
Getty Images - aeriel footage of what's left of the candle factory

The Next Layer - 'Do the Right Thing'

Mr. Sanchez and the rest of the survivors from the candle factory eventually got transported to an area hospital. At this point, I'm not sure if anyone knows, or cares that Marco is an inmate - he is seen as someone who helped out and now needs help himself. After being treated for his injuries, Marco is released from the hospital - it appears as though he could just walk out of there with no questions asked. But, what does Marco do instead? He finds a police officer, explains his situation, and says he wants to turn himself in. The officer says that due to the chaotic circumstances, he wouldn't be able to do anything with Marco at that time - he told Marco to "do the right thing," and that's exactly what he did. After being taken to a local shelter, Marco sought out another police officer and once again tried to turn himself in. That officer took Marco into custody and returned him to jail.

Facebook/Graves County Sheriffs Office
Facebook/Graves County Sheriffs Office

The Final Layer

The conclusion of the story serves as the final layer of good news. After hearing about the actions Mr. Sanchez took that night, a local judge gave him the opportunity to receive shock probation (probation that is offered in the hope that the shock of incarceration will deter the defendant from committing crimes in the future). Marco decided, instead, to simply serve the remainder of his sentence. So, where's the good news? Here it is - Marco is set to be released TODAY, March 1, 2022 (that's the day I wrote this).

I truly hope there is another layer of good news that is still to come. Hopefully, it involves Marco landing on his feet, being given a second chance, and being accepted back into the community.

[h/t: Graves County Sheriff's Office Facebook page]

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