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. white girl

    hello does the story not say anything about her " mother's" house ,

    May 8, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. B.

    Some people get their jollies writing sick garbage in blogs. This is their only scholastic accomplishment. Knowing this is fact, no one else should remark on such posts, as any response draws flies to garbage and continues the foul drivel. The only part of the article I care about is that this young woman and her child survived. Having lived in a trailer in Oklahoma while my father was in the military, I see no rational basis for referring to such people as trailer trash or white trash. I grew up with a wonderful loving family, earned several Ph.Ds, have a beautiful daughter (from whose father I am divorced but still in touch often), and now own a lovely home in Colorado. Does this young woman and her child deserve less in their future? No. 35 years ago, I spent my first Mother's Day in the hospital having a miscarriage, which to this day fills me with sadness for the loss of my first baby. The young mother is probably thrilled to spend the day in a shelter, as opposed to a funeral parlor, but the article does not go into such detail. If this is a monitored site, and posts are removed for foul content, someone is NOT doing their job. Happy Mother's Day to all loving Moms!

    May 8, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jack

    To those of you who are patriots, of any color, and dont want to see genocide, of any color

    Believe me – there are plenty of GREAT black parents who strongly advocate to their sons / daughters to marry a fellow black (I applaud you, I praise you, and I offer you my sincerest promise that I hope you stay in this country and live happy, productive lives)

    this picture/article is not the advertisement for miscengenation and genocide of our cultures that it may seem, if anything, it seems to highlight the obvious,

    if you are at the bottom of the evolutionary intelligence barrell, hook up with the guys who specifically are after you for "bragging" rights, you well end up an emaciated, meth-addicted single mother, pawning baby off on grandma while you get your fix.

    Hows that sound young ladies, look like a glamorous life to you?

    May 8, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ian

    And the baby's father.....??? Dead? Alive? way to go CNN

    May 8, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
    • slappynutz

      in jail..

      May 8, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. 112321

    Tornado took away the monkeys porch.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. skytag is a pvssy

    The baby-daddy was in no danger from the tornado. They build prisons stronger than public schools when it comes to weather proofing govt structures.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. JehseaLynn

    I wish CNN would print the poster's name / ID in BOLD FACE so the human eye could catch each separate comment more easily. As it is, with no means of demarcation, I lost it around "Brass Tack's's" comment to the effect of "Shut up with your stuff around here, Leroy!". I searched and searched the previous copy for either a comment by Leroy, or satirical meaning based on prior opinions and came up empty on both counts.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Racheal

    And I bet when your mother use to hold you it looked like she was holding crap who clearly grew into a puddle of diarrhea.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. LadyBuggg

    Leicia – From one new mother to another, Happy Mother's Day, sweetheart. : ) May God continue to bless you and your beautiful little boy.

    Please pay no attention to the ignorant, small-minded, jerks posting nasty messages. They know next to nothing about you and your darling boy, and their cruel, thoughtless comments reflect far more about them than they do about you.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. JehseaLynn

    Of course, the BOLD FACE type would only help if there were a prior post by a "Leroy" – the satire I would have to catch myself, lol. 😉

    May 8, 2011 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. Quincey9

    She's cute. That kid's gonna be eatin' rack of mommy for a while!

    May 8, 2011 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. Roland

    Now this story's on the front page.

    You're actually doing white girls a service, CNN. Keep it up.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
    • bub

      Your cousin's given up on you Roland but it's time to brush your tooth and snuggle up to your assault rifle.....

      May 8, 2011 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. Eli

    I feel no sympathy, I am tired of these brain dead white women getting knocked up at such a young age and especially with the worst fathers on the face of the earth and we all know who they are. Perhaps the Tornado was saying something, wake up.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
    • bub

      No we don't "all know who they are". From the looks of the last election most of this country at least doesn't judge people by the color of their skin. If you were really trying to point out that a vast number of black fathers are AWOL that would be one thing but you're just using that as an excuse for a hate filled racist rant. This may come as a shock to you but you're not going to find any converts here. There is another network where you would be much more at home.

      May 8, 2011 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Ares

      Maybe we should go back to judging people by their skin color. America was much better off when we did.

      May 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jake

    Don't forget

    May 8, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. kansas

    Mike at 1:05 am Get a life..if your being that rude at that time of nite your clearly home alone..loser

    May 8, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • skytag is a pvssy

      The time stamp on peoples post is based on EST loser. It is not late is still dinnertime in Hawaii for instance!

      May 8, 2011 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
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