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. meemee

    Just wondering what possible difference the race of the baby has to do with anything?

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

      Because this thing is full of racist idiots.

      May 7, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubblepuppy

      It happens just as often with white dads too.

      May 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kat

    Lol. I think she's trying to get bleeding hearts to send her money. Why was the 8 week old baby at her mother's house? Its not like they were on date night, sitting there watching tv. Not married, probably welfare child. They could go out for mother's day.

    May 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. schoolsub

    Is the kid's daddy her husband?

    May 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • aasdasd

      What do you think ?

      May 7, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • gdssd

      fat chance

      May 7, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • schoolsub

      I'm old enough to remember the miscegenation laws that most states had on their books.

      May 7, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • AFVetgrrl84

      No, that's just her "baby daddy", lol........

      May 7, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rita

      The answer to that question is clearly evident in the picture.

      May 7, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred L. Fraud

      You are fvkking idiots

      May 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martha

      lol "tornado bangin'"?!

      May 8, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. FelipeBR

    Ply the Banjos!

    May 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brandon

    @ demilio, LOL, ouch.

    May 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rabbi Malachi

    How old is she? Looks very young.

    May 7, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jack Crowe

    My point was just that. If you can't read then Im sorry.

    May 7, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. furunculus

    Always be thankful for what ya got, not wishful for what you want.

    At least you can still be a mother on mothers day,

    May 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rocket Scientist

    Well now at least I know where my $40k in federal taxes went.

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

      To the military, to defend your right to write stu pid comments on a blog? Doesn't seem to have been worth it.

      May 7, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mammy

    Can't these people go to a hotel? Who wants to stay in a shelter?

    May 7, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hawaiikaos

      Wow, you basically said "let them eat cake." I have a full time job and I wouldn't be able to afford a hotel more than a few days, nor would most people in the U.S.

      May 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned

      Of all the Idiots posting here, you are the worst

      May 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JSD

    The only trash I see here are the people posting nasty comments about this young woman and her child.

    May 7, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dale

      I agree, there is so much hate in this country,,,those that point fingers will usually get their due in time.

      May 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ega


      May 7, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lei

      Thank you! I can't believe how hate-filled the comments are here. It's so unnecessary.

      May 8, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • True Freedom to Associate

      I so agree!!! We need to legislate and call out the thought police!!!
      But that doesn't count if anyone says anything hateful about whites or maligns their culture.

      Only whites are capable of racism and anti-race mixing.

      May 8, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. toms

    Its a grave picture for the Mother's Day...hipocrats..dont realise the declining situation of this country hailing this as a mother's day triumph...its a shame to show it to the outside world..remove this article and help that lady to get out of this ruts..

    May 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric Nicolas

      So, toms – going to be going back for that diploma any time soon?

      May 8, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  13. Marie

    Beautiful baby! It is so sad that people have to come out a down a person because of their choices. To each their own... Good luck to ALL of the victims of this horrible storm.

    May 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reena

      It really is sad...and what makes it worse is that these are grown people making comments like this about a baby! God help you all!

      May 7, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jack

    Just be aware folks, this picture, any picture taken and posted by a news agency (especially a main one)

    has had THOUGHT put into it

    They wanted you to see -this- mother, with -this- baby, and -those- men in the backround,


    What is the message to you, to the youth reading this, to society?

    May 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      You know, I just noticed that after reading the article and responses. I didn't even notice that the baby was half black and I don't think my subconscious even cared. Maybe it is because I was born in Northern California, I am 35 years old, have a Masters Degree, served in the military, lived overseas and I am a citizen of a country with a president not all that unlike the beautiful baby in her arms. What you are seeing has been programed into you. Deprogram yourself. You'll be happier and we will all be happier as well.

      May 7, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • One

      I couldn't have said it better myself, Kyle.

      May 7, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • BrassTacks

      Jack-off – to a simpleton like you that's what it might say...because you're just not advanced enough mentally to see past it. Congrats on being a simpleton! You should celebrate your gifts on Mother's day!

      May 7, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • rafael

      Your claim that CNN puts a great deal of thought into its journalism doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

      May 8, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Lei

      Just out of curiousity, Jack, what do all the pictures of white people with white babies say? Is there some media conspiracy trying to subliminally convince us to only accept breeding with people of our own skin color? Well, I guess people like you who have been drinking those images up have learned your lesson well! I just hope you aren't breeding.

      May 8, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Martha

      The photographer should've told her to pull her top in to cover the black bra...ugh...

      May 8, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric Nicolas

      The obvious intent was to get racist knee-jerks worked-up and start a flame war in the forums because that's good for business. It's a food-chain thing: the bubbas hate her and her kid, and the people with high school diplomas hate the racist bubbas.

      May 8, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Eli

      The message is lock your white daughters in the home and make sure they get married to a nice white man who has a job and can provide.

      May 8, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
    • MR.BEAN

      You are right Jack. The message is – White people should mix themselves out of existance, white people dont matter as a unique group.

      May 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. grlnxtdoor

    Thank you! Finally, someone posting a decent comment.

    May 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
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