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. LookinForAngels

    Why don't we do something nice for her? Hero Rebellion International is encouraging folks to take a few mins on M.Day (or even on monday, as a late gift) and MAKE A VIDEO (even if it's a picture vid!) and UPLOAD IT to CNN's iReport with well wishes for this new mom 🙂

    May 8, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelis

      Send her some birth control. Please.

      May 8, 2011 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
    • True Freedom to Associate

      lol Kellis... or how about sterilization for repeat offenders and awol dads

      May 9, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. kansas

    Highschool? Do your parents know the dumb things you write on here..or wait did they not raise you better than that??

    May 8, 2011 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. jhone

    what has happend?Can you tell me why...?

    May 8, 2011 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bobby


    Typical moron. So, I guess that everyone that doesn't like race mixing and the rapid decline of the white race is a "skinhead" and a "nazi." The poisonous Holywood and Media has taught you well. Whoever made this article obviously made it under the intent of promoting race mixing.

    May 8, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  5. Conway Twill

    Who cares? A responsible parent would have a backup plan. If you can't afford a backup plan, don't have kids. And moreover, don't live in middle-America. It's that simple. Although this is pretty funny: "and we were just praying to God the whole time and all I could think about was my baby". Praying to what? To who? Why don't you ask your imaginary friend to reconstruct your house? I grew up in Tornado Alley. I moved away because I grew tired of the worry, and because I don't rely upon imaginary friends to affect the weather to my benefit. I knew it was only a matter of time before a flood or a tornado would get me, so I chose seemingly endless snow. It's much less stressful.

    May 8, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. jhone


    May 8, 2011 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. Capt. Obvious

    Why does CNN do a story on her of all people? Look at everyone else in the picture and they pluck out this young lady. I don't propose an answer to my question, just saying....

    May 8, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Its still 1950 for some

      What? hey the black guy, let interview one of them we never get enough of their story- I mean who else does bad! Some of you look in the mirror and still can not recognize who you truly are.

      May 8, 2011 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
    • BrendansMom

      Do you think maybe the article was about the miracle of an 8 week old baby surviving.

      May 8, 2011 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. Lauren

    She should be thankful that she gets to celebrate Mother's Day and is not among those of us who are infertile or have had their children pass away. I would gladly take a "first Mother's Day in a shelter".

    May 8, 2011 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. David Rothstein

    And if you dare oppose Jewish power, we just call you an anti-semite and because all you goyims have no back bone you will all cower with your tails between your legs back to your consumer lives! When the messiah finally comes to earth, he will be so proud.

    May 8, 2011 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelis

      Know how the Grand Canyon started? A jew dropped a penny in a gopher hole.

      May 8, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. mrz.independent

    Well Hun I hope u nd ur family all the best nd make the best out of ur situation Ill have this day every year after this nd possibly better k much love nd happy mothers day

    May 8, 2011 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. golgotha76

    Where's the dad?

    May 8, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. gwats

    She's lovely and the baby is cute. Shame they'll be in a shelter tomorrow.

    May 8, 2011 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. golgotha76

    Whaeres the dad at?

    May 8, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. gwats

    Well, maybe she wasn't interested in having a fat., Cheetos eating loser who lives @ home with his Momma @ 34 like you father her baby. Maybe she wanted BETTER!

    May 8, 2011 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Car316


      May 8, 2011 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      She's living in a tax payer funded shelter, and seems pretty content about it. How is that better?

      May 9, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. gwats

    You know, It's hard to believe a black man would even WANT to be your President.... AGAIN.

    May 8, 2011 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
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