Natural disasters are a scary thing. Big or small, they can do a lot of damage, tearing through homes, workplaces, and public places without discrimination. The forces of nature care not for us humans, and that's never more apparent than in the wake of a powerful tornado, hurricane, or tsunami.
Beyond just destroying property, natural disasters can also carry people away, a reality that one family had to face when their baby was swept up by the winds of a tornado.
A Sudden Scare
A family faced a terrifying moment when their baby was swept away by a tornado that had torn through their home in late 2023, but a miracle saved the day and the hearts of two very scared parents.
Sydney Moore and her fiancé Aramis Youngblood are the parents of two young sons, Princeton and Lord, who are one year and four months old, respectively. They were all in their living room when they heard a loud sound outside, one they likened to that of an airplane flying directly overhead.
One brief look and they knew what was happening, a tornado was dangerously close to their home.
Moore said she and Youngblood immediately went into "fight or flight mode," grabbing their two children, who were both sleeping at the time.
"As soon as I jumped on top of Princeton, the back bedroom, the walls collapsed," Moore told Good Morning America. "I remember me and Princeton got thrown onto the ground and then we got picked up and thrown down again, but he never left my arms. And somehow, someway, I still had his pacifier clenched in my hands."
Heard But Not Seen
Youngblood and Lord had a much more harrowing experience. As he ran forward to grab his youngest son, the two were swept away by the tornado that was tearing past their home.
"In the front bedroom, Aramis was in there with Lord, and the roof came off and swept them up," Moore described. "The bassinet was the first thing to go."
Moore and Youngblood could hear each other calling out, but Moore quickly lost sight of him, and once he landed, neither were able to find Lord.
"I remember the first question I asked [Youngblood] was, 'Where's my baby?' And he said he didn't know."
Moore was able to free both herself and Princeton from debris that had fallen on them, while Youngblood was injured after being tossed out of the home by the tornado. Still, they both searched for him fervently. After 10 minutes of non-stop looking, they found Lord in the most unlikely place.
He was perfectly perched in a nearby tree.
"It was just like he was placed in a tree, like a little tree cradle for a baby," Moore said. "It was like a cubby hole in a tree, at the bottom."
She still vividly remembers the moment she saw Youngblood walking toward her with their son back in his arms. "I saw him walking through the woods, carrying Lord in the pouring down rain, and all of his clothes were ripped. It was like a scene in a movie."
"I thought he was dead. I was pretty sure he was dead and we weren't going to find him. But he’s here, and that’s by the grace of God.”
Safe And Sound
Given the terrifying and destructive nature of what they went through, they were all relatively unscathed. Moore and Princeton walked away with only scratches and bruises, while Youngblood had a dislocated collarbone. Lord had only a cut on his face, but given his age, he was still given medical intervention just to be safe.
Everyone is safe and healthy now, but the family still lost their home, which is now hitting much harder in the aftermath of the tornado.
Back On Their Feet
Everything they had was destroyed, and they had to move into a hotel while living off donations while they tried to find a way to get back on their feet. Thankfully, they thought of setting up a GoFundMe, which gained a lot of popularity after the news of Lord's miraculous survival spread online. They've now raised over $100,000 to start their life anew again.
Despite the terror of the moment and the pain that comes with losing all you've built, the family still has much to be grateful for, the safety of their children and the generosity of strangers wanting to help.