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Surviving an F-5 Tornado

Andrew and Danielle share the story of how their family miraculously survived an F-5 tornado. Read Transcript


REPORTER: MAY 22, 2011,

ANDREW AND DANIELLE WERE DRIVING

TO A FRIEND'S HOME AND HEARD

TORNADO SIRENS.

WE HEARD THERE WAS A TORNADO

POSSIBILITY COMING FROM THE

NORTH SIDE, TOP OF JOPLIN.

REPORTER: A SECOND STORM CELL

WAS HEADED AND DECIDED TO TAKE

SHELTER AT THE HOSPITAL.

UNAWARE OF THE DANGER, THEY

STOPPED HOME FOR PERSONAL

BELONGSINGS.

I WANTED TO MAKE SURE WE HAD

PASSPORTS AND BIRTH

CERTIFICATES.

THERE WAS NO FEAR.

EVERY OTHER STORM WOULD CIRCLE

J

JOPLIN TO THE JORT OR SOUTH.

REPORTER: AS THEY BEGAN THEIR

DRIVE TO ST. JOHNS HOSPITAL THEY

REALIZED HOW QUICKLY IT WAS

APPROACHING.

THERE WAS A QUIET.

WE COULD SEE A WALL OF BLACK IN

FRONT OF US.

THERE WAS NO WIND.

EVERYTHING WAS STILL, EVERYTHING

WAS QUIET AND CHARGED, THE FIELD

WAS CHARGED.

WE SAW THIS OUT OF THE BLACK SKY

THIS SHOOT OF LIGHT GOING

STRAIGHT UP AND CALL THEM POWER

SURGES, I THINK.

THAT IS AN INDICATOR THAT A

TORNADO IS ON THE GROUND.

I CRIED OUT LOUD, LORD, PLEASE

PROTECT OUR FAM WHETHERILFAMILY.

DANIEL GRABBED ONE-YEAR-OLD

ETHAN AND RAN INSIDE.

I TURNED AROUND, IT WAS SO

STRONG, ANDREW WAS HUNCHED OVER

WITH EMILY, OUR AT THAT TIME

THREE YEAR OLD AGAINST HIS CHEST

BEARED DOWN STEP AT A TIME TO

GET TO WHERE WE ARE.

THEY REALIZED THE HOSPITAL

WAS ON LOCK DOWN AND UNABLE TO

GET PASSED THE ENTRY WAY.

I JUST NEED TO GET MY FAMILY

TO SAFETY.

THIS IS NOT SAFE.

I HAD EMILY IN MY LEFT HAND AND

STARTED SLAMMED MYSELF AGAINST

IT.

AFTER SIX OR SEVEN TIMES THE

DOOR BROKE OFF THE BOTTOM TRACK.

THE COUPLE SLIPPED UNDER THE

DOOR JUST SECONDS BEFORE THE

TORNADO SLAMMED DIRECTLY INTO

THE HOSPITAL.

AS SOON AS I SLIPPED UNDER

THE DOOR, ALL THE LIGHTS WENT

OUT.

I WAS IMMEDIATELY THROWN DOWN ON

THE FLOOR WITH MY SON UNDERNEATH

ME.

THIS WHOLE HOSPITAL BEING TORN

TO SHREDS.

THE FAMILY WAS SEPARATED IN

AN INSTANTD.

I WAS PICKED UP OFF MY FEET,

GOT SLAMMED INTO THAT DOOR.

ALL THE WHILE, I WAS STILL

HOLDING EMILY.

THEN NEXT THING I KNEW I WAS ON

THE BOTTOM STAIR WITH MY

DAUGHTER UNDERNEATH ME.

THE COUPLE CRIED OUT TO GOD.

I WAS CRYING OUT TO GOD TO

SAVE US, LORD, PLEASE HELP.

WITH MY BABY NESTLED

UNDERNEATH ME, I WAS SINGING

WORSHIP SONGS, I FELT SO

PEACEFUL AND I FELT LIKE I COULD

ALMOST TOUCH PEACE AND IF I

LIFTED MY EYES, I WOULD HAVE

SEEN GLORY.

I THOUGHT OKAY.

THIS IS HOW MY STORY ENDS I

NEVER KNEW WHAT IT WAS GOING TO

BE.

I THOUGHT I THINK THEY'LL FIND

HIM AND IT WILL BE OKAY.

ST. JOHN'S HOSPITAL SEVERELY

HANG MANGLED.

WHEN I COULD NOT FIND MY WIFE

AND SON, I WAS VERY NERVOUS, I

JUST WANTED TO BE BACK WITH HER.

I WENT BACK INTO THE HOSPITAL,

DOOR WAS ALREADY OPENED, I DON'T

KNOW IF I CALLED OUT FOR HER OR

IF SHE CALLED OUT FOR ME.

REPORTER: ANDREW AND DANIELLE

STAMMER'S PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED.

THE FAMILY WALKED AWAY WITH ONLY

MINOR CUTS AND BRUISES.

WE FINALLY GOT BACK TOGETHER.

IT WAS, I THINK I REMEMBER

HUGGING HER.

IT WAS VERY SHORT LIVED OUR

REUNION.

THE COUPLE HAD TO QUICKLY

FACE THE REALITY OF THE STORM

AND WIDESPREAD DESTRUCTION.

IT LOOKED LIKE A TOTALLY

DIFFERENT LANDSCAPE.

NO HOUSES.

TREES NOT THERE ANYMORE.

AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE.

REPORTER: PRAYER OFFERED

SUPERNATURAL COMFORT IN THE

STORM AND IN THE AFTERMATH.

BOTH OF US HAD THE SAME

REACTIONS.

BOTH OF US FOUGHT AGAINST IT AND

PROCLAIMED TRUTH.

NEITHER OF US HAD NIGHTMARES

AFTER THAT. THE FAMILY LOST

THEIR HOME, CARS AND ALL OF

THEIR BELONGINGS, THEY ARE STILL

THANKFUL FOR THE BLESSINGS THEY

HAD AND HELP THEY RECEIVED FROM

OTHERS.

HIS PROVISIONS ARE SO

BEAUTIFUL.

PEOPLE CAME TO OUR HOUSE TO HELP

US, PEOPLE WERE DOING OUR

LAUNDRY, LINING THE STREETS

DOING WHAT THEY COULD TO HELP.

I THOUGHT OKAY, I AM TAKING

NOTES WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS

SUFFERING, I WANT TO DO THESE

KINDS OF THINGS.

REPORTER: DANIELLE WROTE

ABOUT IT IN HER BOOK "SINGING

OVER ME."

PRAYER BROUGHT THEM PROTECTION,

COMFORT AND THE STRENGTH TO

CARRY ON DESPITE THE TORNADO.

IN THE MIDST OF HIM SAVING

US, HE HAS GIVEN US THIS GIFT OF

THIS STORY WE HAVE.

THE STORY OF TRIUMPH THROUGH

TRAGEDY AND SURVIVAL IN THE

MIDST OF HORRENDOUS

CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE HOPE I HAVE FOR THE FUTURE

AND NOW IS SO MUCH GREATER.

I SAW HE IS NEAR ME WHETHER I

LIVE OR DON'T LIVE.

I KNOW THAT GOD HEARD US.

I DEFINITELY BELIEVE PRAYER

CHANGES THE WORLD.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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