Going into labor is already a terrifying and painful experience, but imagine if you had to deal with a natural disaster at the same time.
This happened to a mom in Oklahoma, named Shayla Taylor, who was in labor when a tornado hit her hometown. Because she was so far along the process, there was no way to evacuate her.
“She couldn’t move,” said one of the nurses at Moore Medical Center who took care of Shayla. She said, “[Shayla] had an epidural anesthesia, which meant that it numbed her enough that she couldn’t walk.”
When the tornado came closer to the center, the medical staff moved Taylor from operating room, to a hallway, then to another operating room to get more protection.
As the wind became stronger, four nurses – Popejoy, Heeke, Barbara, and Bonny – did their best to provide enough protection for Shayla by covering her with blankets and pillows.
They even used their own bodies as a protection.
“We were actually on the floor,” said Heeke. “Bonny was kind of leaned over her a little more. We had blankets and pillows all around her. We were holding onto each other – and the bed.”
In the mean time, Shayla had no idea whether her baby would survive this unthinkable process.
But, she did not give up; instead, she prayed.
When the tornado finally hit the center, its impact was beyond imagination: The outside wall of the operating rooms ripped off, and the floor started to shake.
Incredibly, though, everyone in the room survived. Sure, there were debris and fixtures flying around the room, but the nurses and mom survived despite all the odds.
When this was going on, Shayla’s husband Jerome and his 4-year-old son Shaeden had no idea whether Shayla and the baby had survived. Everyone told Jerome that no one was in the hospital building, and that everybody evacuated a long time ago.
When Jerome finally found Shayla, she was being transported immediately to the nearby hospital to deliver their baby. Thankfully, she gave birth to a healthy boy – weighing in at 8 pounds and 3 ounces.
What an incredible story of brave nurses – and I can’t believe they survived the tornado!