CLE ELUM – Phil Derrick teaches Social Studies for a living. His high school students are currently studying “Current World Problems.”
Little did he know his family situation would tie right into the course work.
Derrick’s mother is 76-year-old Mary Thornberry. She’s lived for the past 15 years in Cairo, and with her background in Egyptology, it has been paradise.
“I received a message from a friend in Egypt.There were people outside her door. Her apartment was trashed. She was the only one left,” says Derrick. He called his mother Wednesday morning, “I could hear the people in the building trying to get in.”
Derrick says he contacted the local and American authorities and was told they couldn’t be of assistance.
He typed up a frantic e-mail to NBC News, hoping attention would prompt a rescue attempt:
“Help!” it read in part. “The police are gone, the army is not interested and the U.S. Embassy says that they do not have anyone to help.”
Hours later, she was on the phone with NBC’s Brian Williams and described the chaotic scene outside her front door.
“I don’t want to leave,” said Thornberry, “I have a sharp knife, hot water, walking cane and my rolling pin. That’s my armory.”
“I was very relieved to hear her,” says Derrick, who says his mother realizes it is time to evacuate. “I want her out. She’s my mom. I don’t trust the situation.”