April Storm Victim: "This too shall pass." - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

April Storm Victim: "This too shall pass."

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CLEVELAND, BRADLEY COUNTY (WRCB) – For two Cleveland families, April 27th is one night they will never forget.

Angie Morrow is still rebuilding six months later.

Heather Wilcox would lose her mother and fight to save the life of  her unborn son.

Wilcox says, "My husband opens the door and my uncle is screaming, ‘hit the deck, hit the deck'."

Heather and her husband, Blake, watched the biggest tornado the area had ever seen race straight for their home.

"Blake opens the door and looks across the field and says to my mom, ‘oh my gosh, it is a tornado'," says Wilcox.

The matriarch of the family, Lisa Pack, yelled for everyone to seek cover in a last minute effort to protect those she loved.

It was the last valiant act she would ever commit.

"The last words she spoke were, ‘get down and don't get up until I tell you to'," says Wilcox.

The record-setting storm destroyed Heather's home, her grandparents' home, and her uncle's house.

"It was 8:27 at night, that was the last time I looked at the clock," Wilcox says. "From then until the time we opened our eyes, we were laying out in the field."

Pregnant, delirious, and staggering through a field of debris and destruction, Heather searched for her mom only to find her lifeless under a tree.

Wilcox says, "I feel that she is in a better place and a lot happier than we are, but it is quite difficult."

Unable to save her mom, paramedics flew a three-month pregnant Heather to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

The unborn baby had already been named "Cainen", which Wilcox says is a biblical reference to the "Promise land".

"They said they were not sure if the baby had made it," she says. "They weren't doing anything to check on the baby."

"The main concern was me," adds Wilcox. "The doctor did tell me that, ‘I can't promise you he will be here when the surgery is over'."

After hours of surgery and uncertainty, the update from doctors finally came.

Heather prepared for the worst, but kept hope.

"When I woke up the next morning, the surgeon told me that the baby pulled through even better than I did," she says.

As Heather and her unborn son recovered in the hospital, Angie Morrow and her family were dealing with different problems across town.

Morrow's neighborhood still lays in ruins after tornadoes tore apart homes and businesses.

She recently had a chance to thank Channel 3 Chief Meteorologist Paul Barys for his work that night.

As Angie saw the best in people, she also saw the worst. And picking up the pieces has been hard.

"We just hunkered down here and slept here and that when the looting started and hit our neighborhood pretty bad," says Morrow.

Her "pretty bad" situation turned even worse this past Labor Day, when the record-setting tornado outbreak was followed by the worst flooding in history.

Since April, it's been one setback after another.

If Mother Nature shows her wrath again, she can at least thank Paul Barys and the Storm Alert 3 Team for fair warning.

Fast forward, it's been two weeks since baby Cainen was born.

Heather says his birth doesn't replace the loss of her mother, but it makes moving forward much easier.

"It does make a difference in the mourning now that he is here," she says. "It makes it better in a sense."

The progress may seem slow, but both Angie and Heather say they will press forward and "baby steps" are just part of a new life.

"I have to tell myself every day I come up here, it will not look like this forever," Morrow says. "That is the only way, mentally, I can deal with this."

"It will not be like this forever," she says. "A friend told me, ‘this too shall pass'."

Wilcox says, "Me and Blake sit around here and just look sometimes at all of what we do have and say it is a miracle from God."

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