WAVERLY, TN (WSMV) - Joseph Reeves, a loving father, lost his life Saturday when flood waters swept through his Waverly home. 

The veteran used his final moments to give his family a chance at survival. 

As water began to quickly rise in their home, it was Joseph who initiated the family's escape by opening the door to give them a chance against the current. 

"My mom and sister got out of the current, but they all got separated," said Joseph's daughter Rachel. "My sister by herself got on top of the Exxon. She climbed up something and some nice lady pulled my mom up on this building that's gone now."

Along with battling the floods, Joseph's wife is also in a battle with stage four cancer. She has bumps and bruises from her rescue, along with the pain of losing her husband.

But through their pain, this family is thankful for the loved ones who survived and for those who went out of their way to save them. 

"My mom and sister would not be alive without Melissa and Joel and the nice family on 211 East Railroad Street," Rachel said. "They are incredible people for going out there in danger and bringing them to safety." 

How to help Humphreys County flood victims

As of Tuesday morning, 22 people are confirmed dead in Waverly with 12 still unaccounted for.

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