r On February 15, Springville resident Lori Walker was severely injured in a natural gas explosion in a cabin in Heber.
Upon arriving at the cabin, Walker smelled gas and, feeling alarmed, sent her four children back to the car while she investigated. Neighbors heard an explosion and rushed to the smoke-filled, fiery scene, risking their own lives to pull her out from under large beams. They were able to remove her from the building just a few moments before a second explosion.
Walker is still recovering in the hospital from burns and broken bones. She has had multiple surgeries and will have many more.
As is often the case with tragedies, the best of people is brought forward. People remember what’s truly important in life and find themselves wanting to give more than receive. This has certainly been true in Walker’s recovery.
The Walker family’s neighbors, Anthony and Cindy Sweat, started #lightsforlori just one night after the accident.
“Everyone who knows Lori, and has been a recipient of her service, wanted to do something to show solidarity with her and her family as they face this tremendous difficulty.”
The Sweats asked others to join them in stringing up lights in the shape of a heart in their windows in support of Walker. It is a movement that has grown, sweeping throughout their neighborhood and across the state, country and world.
Cindy Sweat has known Walker for over five years and couldn’t think of a better way to show love than to do something involving light.
“A great example of the kind of person Lori is and how she lives her life is seen in the ‘Light Awards’ that she and her family put on annually. They each choose someone who has been a light in their lives throughout the year and they invite them to a gathering at their house where she, her husband, and her children each publicly present the person they chose with a ‘thank you’ award.”
The hashtag “LightsForLori” has been used across social media platforms to show the Walker family support and to post countless stories of the kindness and generosity so many in our community have felt from Walker.
Sweat feels compelled to help in any way she can: “Lori introduced herself to me and invited my family to dinner within the first week we moved in. She is very friendly…(and) is interested in people and quick to start a conversation. She is also a great listener. These personable skills, along with her love for food and fun make her an excellent hostess for the many friendly gatherings she plans…She seems to always be first to know and respond when someone is in need of something.”
Sweat encourages everyone, whether they personally know Walker or not, to display lights in the shape of a heart, and if they choose, to post it on social media along with a story about Walker that shows her kindness and love. “Sharing and reading those stories has been strengthening to so many, including the Walker family.”