MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Missouri family took a direct hit from the tornado on Dec. 10.
Trey and Meghan Rackley and their three daughters sought shelter in a windowless bathroom in their southeast Missouri home as storms raged across the country’s midsection.
Ava Rackley, 7, had huddled in the bathtub with her two sisters, 3-year-old Alanna, and 9-year-old Annistyn.
Sadly, Annistyn did not survive.
Ava is being treated here in Memphis at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
Their mother, Meghan, sent a photo to the girl’s aunt, Sandra Hooker, seconds before the tornado hit to prove they were in a safe place.
Fifteen minutes later, Sandra Hooker said, a tornado splintered the home, carrying the family members dozens of yards through the air into a field where first responders found them in mud.
“She remembers flying inside the tornado and she told the doctors and nurses at Le Bonheur when they asked do they know what happened to her, she said ‘Yes, I was flying around in the tornado and I prayed to Jesus to take care of me and he spit me out and the tornado spit me out into the mud,’” Hooker said.
She says the mother, Meghan, suffered broken bones, a deep cut and a brain injury.
The aunt says Annistyn, the 9-year-old who died, was into cheerleading and loved everyone.
The father, Trey, and the youngest girl, 3-year-old Alanna were treated at a hospital and released.
As for Ava, the 7-year-old hospitalized at Le Bonheur, she’s expected to undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a broken vertebrae in her back.