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. Jesus Cristo

    Wow she has a black baby... Must have been god...

    May 8, 2011 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Artie2

    Why did CNN block my post? Because they can't handle the truth.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Artie2

      CNN – Grow up. A public forum is just that – PUBLIC. Print my earlier post – the one you deleted.

      May 8, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
    • tizroc

      You are incorrect. Read the Terms Of Service... it is private property and they can choose to do what they want. If they don't like what you have to say so what. It isn't free speech (since it isn't a government issue)... so quit it. Wow.

      May 8, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. RickMG

    I just don't believe reporters these days. They always leave out important parts of a story. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BABY'S FATHER? Did he get killed? Where is he? Not only, how could the writer not put this in the story, how can the editors not catch that? The story has absolutely no meaning without this information. Being in a sheltor is not a bad story in this disaster, being alive and well is.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Just sayin

      the father is still alive–just look at her FaceBook page–they just broke up not too long ago

      May 8, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Whitney

      I was just thinking the same thing......

      May 8, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      I think you mis the point of the whole story...it wasn't the father (we'll get to that on Father's Day) it was the Mother. Mother's day and her ordeal.

      May 8, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Michael Martin

    hahahha these comments are why i go the comment board

    May 8, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • YourButtSmells

      hahahahahaha...write in English please.

      May 8, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. Disappointed

    I visited Tuscaloosa today, bringing up supplies from south Alabama. I saw the devastation this woman and her beautiful baby lived through. I read these hurtful comments and it saddens my heart. America may have killed our worst physical enemy in Bin Laden, but our worst inner enemy obviously lives on – prejudism.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jim

    The story doesn't say what happened to the father. Was he OK? Where is he?

    May 8, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Eli

      Selling drugs with the Bro's

      May 8, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. .

    Stop living in trailer parks located in tornado alley. Not that difficult

    May 8, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      You are seriously blaming the victim here! Better to live where she lived than on social services dime correct? I am sure that there are plenty of homeless people that want to live in hurricane alley!! There but for the GRACE of GOD!

      May 8, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Martha

      Cheryl, how do you know she doesn't live on social services? You can live in a trailer paid for by public funds...

      May 8, 2011 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sensible

    This is a lovely young mother who agonized about her child. The fact that baby was at grandma's place is not only fortuitous, but also suggests a supportive family. WHAT is wrong with you people? What made you think this girl is 'white trash'? That she's not married to the father of her child? The fact that the baby is darker than the mother? That she dared spend some time with the father of her child alone at home? The only trash I see here is some of the comments.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. Name*leicia fairchild

    First of all I am a good mother second just bc my child is mixed dose not mean anything third if u can't say something good about someone don't say anything at all fourth I am 20 not 17 and I am far from poor white trash and last but not least I'm fixing to be in college and i am doing something with my life such I bet 90% of the people who said something bad r not

    May 8, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
    • sheryl

      Leicia, Please ignore the rude comments. People have nothing better to do. I am happy your little boy is safe. I hope you are able to find a place to live soon. Take care of your beautiful baby, nothing else matters. Best of luck to you.

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

      Leicia, there will always be critics in the world and I think it's safe to say you can ignore these. The best judge of character is how people respond to bad situations; mocking someone for the mere misfortune of being caught in a tornado shows how little class they have. It isn't worth the effort of caring what they say. Good luck on recovering from this and trying to accomplish the goals you laid out.

      Happy Mothers Day.

      May 8, 2011 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Genevieve from Seattle

      You rock 🙂 You make me smile 🙂

      May 8, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Molly H

      Leicia – you have a beautiful baby

      May 8, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Ares

      If you want to breed with Blacks no one will stop you but could you please move to the Congo or Haiti where you cannot do any more damage?

      May 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      You are "fixin" to be a statistic, thanks to your judgment your child will have to fight a uphill battle all his life. Congrats.

      May 8, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brandon

    Doing great?? LOL!!! You consider that as doing great??!! She is the exact opposite of doing great.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. Randy Colbert

    news heading "Pakistani Bomb Victim to spend first mothers day Dead"...(U.S. reaction..."Who Cares their from the middle east..their evil")...news heading "Pakistani orphan plans terrorist attack on U.S."...(U.S. reaction..."Gosh Dang muslims, why don't they just keep their wars to themselves")...

    May 8, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. anita

    Oh well i spent my first mothers day in a shelter. Deal with it and move on.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bubblepuppy

    Maybe she'll get knocked up again before the next tornado comes along.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • fdadfsfs

      maybe youll get knocked out

      May 8, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. sheryl

    Thankfully you and your son are not hurt. Best of luck to you. You baby is beautiful.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Name*leicia fairchild

      Thank you so much

      May 8, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      Leicia, God bless you honey, you will pull through this.
      Ignore the ignorant and racist comments. Your child is beautiful.
      We are all God's children, and all of God's children are beautiful.
      Love you! Stay strong!!!

      May 8, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      That white girl looks like pure white trash. Is that what you blacks are gloating about? That meth smoking thing?

      That's your "prize"? hahahahaha...

      May 8, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. Deecheri

    Why oh why?! These comments are horrible!! God bless you young lady. I'm glad you and your son made it through. Remember the Lord is close to the widow, the fatherless & the brokenhearted.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
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