A Kentucky grandmother who was saved from her flooded home in July thanks in part to a viral photo showing her sitting on her bed in waist-deep water has died at age 97, relatives said.

Mae Amburgey died on Oct. 8 in her sleep at the home of her son in Chelsea, Alabama, where she had been staying because she was unable to return to her flood-damaged house in Whitesburg, Kentucky, relatives told the Lexington Herald-Leader.

“I believe she died of a broken heart,” the woman’s granddaughter Missy Amburgey Crovetti told the newspaper. “I think if it hadn’t been for the flood, if she hadn’t suffered that trauma, I think she would have still been with us.”

Amburgey Crovetti wrote in an update on a GoFundMe page that she had initially launched to help repair her grandmother’s home that the nonagenarian “put up one heck of a fight” since her dramatic rescue.

The viral photo that helped save Mae Amburgey during the flooding in Kentucky.
The viral photo that helped save Mae Amburgey during the flooding in Kentucky.
Facebook / Missy Amburgey Crovet
Amburgey's family said she died in her sleep at her son's home in Alabama Oct. 8.
Amburgey’s family said she died in her sleep at her son’s home in Alabama Oct. 8.
Facebook / Missy Amburgey Crovet
The woman's granddaughter, Missy Amburgey Crovetti, pictured, said her grandmother died "of a broken heart" resulting from the trauma of the flood.
The woman’s granddaughter, Missy Amburgey Crovetti, pictured, said her grandmother died “of a broken heart” resulting from the trauma of the flood.
Facebook / Missy Amburgey Crovet

“While our hearts are completely broken we are also relieved that she is no longer in pain,” the granddaughter stated. “The last few days she had been praying for the Lord to bring her home, she is home now.

“She was an incredible force who brought love, light, and kindness to everyone she met.”

Amburgey Crovetti told the Herald-Leader that her grandmother was not fully aware of her viral fame resulting from the photo taken in late July inside her waterlogged home as floods ravaged eastern Kentucky.

The granddaughter told Fox Weather at the time that grandma Mae tried to call for help, but no one was answering, so Amburgey Crovetti posted the photo on Facebook “out of desperation.”

Amburgey was unable to move back into her Whitesburg, Kentucky, home because it had been virtually destroyed by the floodwaters.
Amburgey was unable to move back into her Whitesburg, Kentucky, home because it had been virtually destroyed by the floodwaters.
Facebook / Missy Amburgey Crovet

The image quickly went viral, and Amburgey and her son Larry were rescued from the floodwaters, as seen in a video.

The 97-year-old was taken to a hospital and diagnosed with pneumonia, while her son Larry inhaled water and ended up on a ventilator.

Amburgey was ultimately discharged and sent to a nursing home to continue her recovery, but she could not move back into her beloved home, which has been rendered unlivable.

The official death toll from the flash floods in Kentucky has now reached 43, Gov. Andy Beshear said during a press conference last week.



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