Alabama storm victim to spend first Mother's Day in shelter
Leicia Fairchild and her son, Christian, survived last week's devastating storms in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
May 7th, 2011
09:07 PM ET

Alabama storm victim to spend first Mother's Day in shelter

Leicia Fairchild had only one thing on her mind as a tornado ripped apart her home in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, last week.

"My son, my son, I got to get to my son," Fairchild recalls.

Fairchild was relieved to find her 8-week-old son, Christian, unharmed in her mother's home down the hill. But her elation has turned into despair as she gets ready to spend her first Mother's Day in a shelter with more than 200 others displaced by last week's devastating storms.

"I pictured Mother's Day at home with his father, and happy and everything, and it's far from happy. I’m in a shelter with my son," she said.

The American Red Cross set up the shelter just a few miles outside Tuscaloosa, where a massive tornado cut a 5.9-mile-long path of destruction last week. More than 5,700 structures were damaged and destroyed, affecting an estimated 13,700 people, a mayoral spokeswoman said. The city has held off on releasing an official count of the dead, but CNN last reported the death toll at 50.

Ground zero in Tuscaloosa: Horror and hope, tears and prayers

Fairchild was sitting at home with the father of her baby when she heard a loud noise and looked out the window and saw a tornado heading for her house.

"We ran and just dove under the sink and the whole house lifted up and started to go with the wind, and we were just praying to God the whole time and all I could think about was my baby,” Fairchild said Saturday as she sat in the shelter's cafeteria.

Before the storm had ended, she was running down the hill to see if her mother's home was still there.

"They pulled nails out of my feet where I had to run through my house. We had to climb over a huge tree that landed on our house that was blocking the door, and I had to climb over that tree. I was determined to get to my son."

The child was unharmed. Fairchild's mother and the boy's father also survived, but their homes were destroyed.

Fairchild hopes to leave the shelter soon and move into an apartment. Her first Mother's Day wasn’t supposed to be like this.

"He's a blessing. I get to tell him he lived through a tornado at 8 weeks old."

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Filed under: Alabama • Tornadoes • Weather
soundoff (371 Responses)
  1. meee

    Priceless

    May 7, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy

    She and her son *could* spend Mother' Day with *her* mom: three generations of survivors. I am sure she is thankful for them all being alive. I know I would be!

    Happy Mother's Day, Moms!

    May 7, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • toms

      She need a special greeting...Fore sure there is no father left except for helping her to have the baby

      May 7, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      toms, you are correct, daddy is no longer in the picture. I checked her facebook, yes Im very thorough.

      May 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • MR.BEAN

      Brandon said: "Brandon

      toms, you are correct, daddy is no longer in the picture. I checked her facebook, yes Im very thorough."

      Wow what a surprise, her black boyfriend ditched her. Gee such a shock [sarcasm].

      May 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. barbara

    Im so happy her little boy made it. God bless you hon. I did wonder though, she wanted to spend it at home with the father , but then the article never mentions him again.. is he ok or was he not there at the time of the tornado? and im assuming the baby must have been with mom already? cnn isn't the best at editing , it always seems like a rough draft and no one passed it to editing first before slapping it up. I hope that they get a home soon. Wat a cute baby!

    May 7, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • toms

      Don't blabber your hiprocratic thoughts...

      May 7, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Swan

      I agree! Where is the mention of the father??????

      May 7, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric Nicolas

      Hippocratic? What makes you think she's a doctor?

      May 8, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. dhondi

    maybe wallace was onto something

    May 7, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Racheal

    And so what if the baby is black, is that a bad thing?

    May 7, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Racheal

      Obviously you're a bad thing. Racist slob.

      May 7, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reena

      Dhondi is a idiot at heart! If you really dislike black people...dont waste your "precious" time on them...stop commenting on any blog that has to do with black people. Go spread your ignorance on some other race or do as I can only imagine and keep it within your family! I was always told that if you never have never personally done anything to a person and they dislike you....they are jealous because you are obviously "fabuloso"!!!!

      May 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • BunnyLynn

      Of course not. The bad thing is the Snickerlicker who had him.

      May 7, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. R. Hopkins

    Your point being?

    May 7, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. *

    *yes* *you* *are* *right* *3* *generations* *spending* *mothers* *day* *together* *that* *is* *a* *wonderful* *thing* **!!**

    *luv* *

    May 7, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GoFaster58

    Honey, I wouldn't worry about where I had Mother's Day. You and your baby are alive and that's what matters most. As for Jack Crowe commenting the baby is black, what does that matter?

    May 7, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reena

      So true, but "simple" people have simple thoughts...it's hard for them to comprehend that many things are more important than race. This is a helpless baby who has done nothing to anyone andd they are talking about a baby!!!....who does that!!!!! Simple-tons..simple minded people!

      May 7, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Racheal

    My question exactly!

    May 7, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jack

    You people are ignorant. This is a story about survival and a mother's love and you have the nerve to make those statements? Grow up and get a life !

    May 7, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Brandon

    lol

    May 7, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brandon

    From the look of things this is just the beginning of her problems.

    May 7, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jean

    Predjudice shows ingorance. You are all very ignorant.

    May 7, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Stormwatch5/21

    http://www.familyradio.com/graphical/literature/judgment/judgment.html

    May 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. demilio

    too funny

    May 7, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
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