8-Year-Old Sucked Up Into Tornado but Survives

Julie Ryan Evans

tornadoWith all the tragic tales of death and destruction from recent tornadoes in the South, it's nice to see a story with a happy ending -- a miracle, according to some. It's every parent's worst nightmare and greatest joy all wrapped up in one incident.

Last week, 8-year-old Reginald Eppes Jr. was snug in his top bunk bed when a tornado came through Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The tornado lifted him up from his bed and into the air as his parents watched helplessly. Reginald Eppes Sr. told the New York Daily News:

I was reaching up for him, but my hands never made it. The walls crumpled like paper, and he just went with them. Like someone had him on a string and snatched him away real quick.

It's unimaginable to understand what a parent would be feeling in a moment like that. There are so many awful scenarios and what-ifs we brace ourselves for as parents, but this is one I don't think anyone could see coming.

When it comes to parenting, however, there are plenty of these unexpected twists and turns that lift us up and smack us down and deliver emotional tornadoes along the way. I think of all the parents who have received news that their child has cancer or another terminal illness, and I imagine they feel much the same way these parents did as their son was taken away by a force too great for any man to fight.

Fortunately, this incident had a happy ending. Eppes said all he could do was pray for his son, and his prayers were answered when a few minutes later, his son came walking back.

I looked up and saw a silhouette, his little shadowy figure walking back over the debris. It was wonderful. You can't explain the relief. He said it was like he was floating in the air and then just floated back down.

As for injuries, it seems the most the boy had was a cut on the neck and few bumps on his head. Amazing. If only all childhood scares had such happy endings. 

What's the most unexpected frightening thing that has happened to your child?

Image via nasikabatrachus/Flickr

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