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December 21, 2016 05:00 PM

Buried Alive: Emily's Recurring Nightmares

Sioux Falls, SD

KELOLAND News continues its one-on-one interview with Emily Fodness, the 22-year-old Sioux Falls woman who survived the downtown building collapse earlier this month. 

Tuesday night, Fodness talked about being buried alive for three and a half hours before first responders were able to find her in the rubble and pull her to safety. 

Trapped for hours underneath tons of rubble is a nightmare in itself; now survivor Emily Fodness relives that tragedy on a nightly basis.  

"Every dream I have goes back to that place," Emily said. 

Ever since the building collapse Emily has been awoken at night by reoccurring nightmares.

"It's just going through it again, it's on constant replay in my head, the falling portion," Emily said. 

From the crumbling sounds of concrete to the loud shrieking blares of sirens, it all comes back to haunt her. Even household noises, she says, can trigger a wave of emotions. 

"I hear a vacuum in the hallway and it scares me, because it kind of sounds like everything falling," Emily said. 

During our one-hour interview, she told me she doesn't want the collapse to define who she is, but moving on isn't going to be easy - including dealing with survivor's guilt. 

"I have a counselor and a psychiatrist as well, just to make sure I'm getting the help I need," Emily said.  

Doctors say at this time, she doesn't suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, but that too will take time to diagnose.

"They're still kind of going through that just watching for it, but they said it's too early to say, because it was in the last few weeks, but they definitely want to watch for it and make sure I'm doing the best as I can," Emily said.

Emily is still using crutches, but she hopes with more physical therapy, she'll be going back to work in a couple of weeks. 

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