The four-month-old was found lying in a tree, alive "by the grace of God."
On Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, a deadly tornado tore through Clarksville, Tennessee. As it approached a mobile home rented by 22-year-old Sydney Moore, it tore the roof off — and took her four-month-old son, Lord, with it.
Her boyfriend Aramis Youngblood — the boy’s father — lunged to protect Lord, but ended up being taken by the tornado as well. At that moment, Moore was in the mobile home’s back bedroom with her one-year-old son, Princeton.
“Something in me just told me to run and jump on top of my son,” Moore told local news outlet WSMV-4. “Literally the moment I jumped on him, the walls collapsed.”
Moore and Princeton were crushed under the now shattered debris of the mobile home, while her boyfriend, their son, and the baby’s bassinet got carried away by the swirling winds.
“He was just holding on to the bassinet the whole time, and they went into circles, he said, and then they got thrown,” Moore said.
Miraculously, Moore and her one-year-old only sustained a few minor scrapes and bruises, and she managed to get them free from the wreckage. Her boyfriend, too, was only lightly injured — but there was no sign of Lord anywhere.
For 10 minutes, they searched for the four-month-old, all but certain the child was dead. Then, they found him alive, lying nestled in a fallen tree in the pouring rain.
“I thought he was dead,” Moore said. “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.”
The entire family had managed to survive the ordeal with just a few cuts and bruises — and Youngblood with a broken arm. But the same couldn’t be said for their belongings.
According to a GoFundMe campaign set up by Moore’s sister, Caitlyn, the family lost all of their belongings in the tornado. Moore’s cat, Balue, was also missing in the wake of the storm.
At the time of writing, the campaign has surpassed its $100,000 goal, thanks to more than 2,000 donations. Caitlyn Moore said the funds will be used by her sister to purchase a new, non-mobile home, furnishings, a vehicle, insurance, and other basic needs for the babies.
She also wrote that when Lord was found, “he looked like he was placed on the tree gently. Like an angel guided him safely to that spot.”
“I will die for my kids,” Moore said. “That’s not even a question. And my boyfriend would do the same thing.”
Of course, Moore and her family were not the only people affected by this tornado. As Newsweek reported, six people died as a result of the storm, which tore through Nashville, Clarksville, and the surrounding regions.
“This is devastating news and our hearts are broken for the families of those who lost loved ones,” said Clarksville mayor Joe Pitts. “The City stands ready to help them in their time of grief.”
A spokesperson for Clarksville said the community is showing “remarkable resilience” in the aftermath of the tornado, and that the city has received federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“People from throughout the nation are seeing our true volunteer spirit,” the city’s statement said. “We won’t stop our efforts until every single tornado victim gets the help and support that they need.”