Kevin Spiegel and his three children are praying for a miracle — one that brings the family's matriarch back to them.
Judy Spiegel, who grew up in South Bellmore and raised her family in Plainview and later, Southampton, is among 150 people missing since early Thursday after the Champlain Towers South residential building collapsed in Surfside, Florida.
Her husband of 40 years, Kevin Spiegel, had left for a business trip in California three days before. When the building collapsed, Judy Spiegel was in the couple's apartment.
Five days after the horrific condominium collapse left a smoldering pile of rubble and devastation, Kevin Spiegel remains hopeful his wife, a retired Merrill Lynch stockbroker who previously volunteered at Southampton Hospital's Ellen Hermanson Breast Center, will be found alive.
"We are optimistic but it's very stressful because very little information is forthcoming," said Spiegel, the former administrator of Southampton Hospital.
The death toll at Surfside rose to 11 on Monday, with the number of people unaccounted now at 150.
Search and rescue teams, which have been dispatched from across the country and the globe, continue to dig through the rubble, working against time looking for survivors. A mutual aid request by Florida for New York State rescue crews has not yet been made, officials said.
The cause of the collapse remains under investigation.
The Spiegels sold their Southampton home in 2017 and bought an apartment on the sixth floor of Champlain Towers, north of Miami Beach, to be closer to their daughter and their grandchildren.
Spiegel and his three adult children — Rachel, Josh, and Michael Spiegel — raced to the site of the collapse late-last week and have made frequent cable news appearances in recent days, describing their family's agonizing wait for answers.
"Judy did everything for all of us," said Kevin Spiegel, a former emergency medical technician at the Plainview Fire Department. "We are lost without her … It's a disaster."
Aside from the human devastation, Spiegel said, his family's entire history, from bar mitzvah photos at the Chabad of Southampton to priceless heirlooms, are buried.
"Everything is gone. My wedding album from the Crest Hollow Country Club," he said. "We were a Long Island family through and through."
On Long Island Monday, friends and former co-workers of the Spiegels described a couple devoted to their Jewish faith, the medical field and giving back to the community.
"Judy was so warm, nice and kind," said Rabbi Rafe Konikov, of the Chabad of Southampton, where the family were longtime members.
"Whenever she walked into a room," Konikov said, "she filled it with positive energy and was always smiling and filled with life."
The Chabad held a prayer service Saturday for the Spiegel family, the rabbi said.
Robert Ross, vice president of community and government relations at Southampton Hospital, said he first got to know Kevin Spiegel 20 years ago when Ross was the town's deputy supervisor.
"There's a big connection out here in Southampton to the Spiegel family. Everyone is really devastated," Ross said. "It's incredible. You go to sleep in your bed thinking you're safe but who the heck knows what's going to happen to you."
Josh Spiegel, a Florida physician, said his family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
"Our mom is the most amazing person ever," he said. "And we just want to thank everyone on Long Island for their thoughts and prayers."
Kevin Spiegel said he believed the beachside tower — built in 1981 — was in sound physical shape although it needed some minor upgrades. The condo association, he said, recently approved a plan to complete repairs to the building required under the 40-year recertification process.
"Everything looked fine," he said. "It's a 40-year-old building right on the beach. It's a high-end building in a high-end community. A very nice building. There was no sign of anything like this."