GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- A Triad woman is finally home safe with her family after a tropical vacation turned into her worst nightmare.
Melody Bullock was visiting St. John's with her friends before Hurricane Irma hit. She fled to St. Thomas for safety, but ended up stuck on the island during the category 5 Hurricane.
Bullock hunkered down in a bathroom with friends and they survived the storm. However, getting off the island was no easy task.
"Everything was destroyed," Bullock explained. "The airport was closed. Buildings had roofs torn off. We saw leaves literally ripped off trees, palm trees stripped down to nothing. We saw telephone poles not just broken in half, but they were broken in more than one place."
Bullock stayed in a hurricane-damaged apartment complex with her friends for more than a week while they tried to book flights off the island.
"Thankfully we had enough food and water. We rationed," she said. "But there was little cell phone service and everything was flooded."
It was a scary situation made worse because of Bullock's health concerns. She has an immunodeficiency disorder that stops her body from fighting infections and diseases. She usually uses medication to keep it in check, but ran out because of the extended stay.
Bullock says she got a minor infection while waiting for rescue but was able to treat it with antibiotics she had brought along.
On Wednesday, Bullock was able to flee the island on a cruise ship sent to rescue U.S. survivors.
The ship took her to Puerto Rico, where she booked a flight home on Friday.
"The first thing I did was call my family," Bullock explained. "I said I'm home, I'm back on U.S. soil. I'm fine and I'll see you when I can get to you."
Bullock was able to see her mom, children and grandchildren on Saturday.
"I'm back on my medication, everything is fine and now I have a story to tell my grandkids someday," she said.