Only on 10: Parents reunited with daughter feared missing in Dominica
Two parents were reunited with their daughter Tuesday after they lost contact her when Hurricane Maria hit the island of Dominica.
There were sobs, as well as plenty of bear hugs, the moment Elisha Griffin stepped off an escalator at T.F. Green Airport and into her mother and father’s arms.
"That was probably the best hug I've ever gotten in my life,” Elisha told NBC 10 News. “It just -- I've been trying to fight the tears all day looking forward to just coming home.”
An NBC 10 reporter was there and couldn't help but cry during the emotional exchange.
More than a week ago, Jeff Griffin and his wife, who live in Little Compton, were frantically searching for Elisha, a medical school student who is training at Ross University in Dominica. They feared the worst, but hoped for the best.
At the time, Jeff said he made so many phone calls to Elisha that her voicemail was unable to take any more messages.
"Hey it's Elisha. I'm not here right now,” she said on her voicemail when Jeff called on Sept. 19 as NBC 10 was by his side. The inbox can usually only handle about 30 voicemails.
"Those were all my messages,” Jeff previously said, noting that he last spoke to his daughter right before the hurricane hit. “This is definitely out of bounds."
But to his relief, Elisha survived the Category 5 hurricane despite the fact that the storm devastated Dominica, leaving the entire island without electricity or cell phone reception.
Elisha had no way to let her family know she was safe. Her loved ones were left in the dark, having no idea when they'd see their daughter again -- if at all.
"They have to think I'm dead," Elisha said of her emotions. "What else, what else could they think?"
But after traveling by boat and plane, Elisha is finally home.
"That's been our motto -- 'We will go home soon, but not yet.' And now 'not yet' is here," Elisha said.