Wife of former Erlanger CEO missing after Florida condo collapse
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Family members in Surfside, Florida, have been living a nightmare since early Thursday morning.
“Nothing prepares you for this. My dad always said he thought he was
going to die first,” says Rachel Spiegel, the daughter of Judy Spiegel.
Judy is one of the nearly 160 people still missing after a
beachfront condo collapsed near Miami.
“It’s just an emotional rollercoaster is the best way I can describe it,” says Judy’s son, Michael Spiegel.
Judy is the wife of former Erlanger CEO Kevin Spiegel. The family has
strong local ties.
“I have a lot of really nice memories of Chattanooga, and I wish I
could take my mom there again because she loved it so much,” says Rachel.
As they remain on the ground in Florida, Rachel is humbled by the
outpouring of support from Chattanooga.
“My mom was very involved in the Children’s Hospital and also in the
arts committee. People I personally don’t know, but they know my mom
from the arts committee have been reaching to me on Facebook,” Rachel says, describing her mother’s involvement in the Chattanooga community.
Locally, the Chabad Jewish Center will be hosting a candlelight vigil
for Judy and the others who remain missing.
“I just know that everybody that’s met her loves her and the Spiegels
are very much loved in this community,” says Rabbi Shaul Perlstein.
“As Kevin has told me multiple times over the last day to just keep
praying, have them all in our prayers and that’s what we’re going to
try to do,” says Rabbi Perlstein, about the planned vigil Friday night.
“Send some positive energy – spiritually, physically, it all helps,” he says.
Erlanger released the following statement on Judy’s disappearance:
“We hold the Spiegel family in our hearts tonight, and we can only imagine the worry and angst that the Spiegels are experiencing,” Erlanger Chaplain Gregory Daniel said following a moment of silence for Judy Spiegel during a hospital board meeting Thursday. “We seek your divine providence in finding her well and alive…May those involved in the rescue efforts be granted strength, wisdom, energy as they render aid.”
Rachel remains optimistic about finding her mother.
“We have to hold out hope, we don’t have another option. We want to be
with our mom and we want to see her again,” she says.