Neighbor helps pregnant woman and toddler thrown from home

By Mackenzie Patterson - bioemail

WARM SPRINGS, GA (WTVM) - Imagine finding a pregnant woman and a young child standing outside your door after a tornado ripped them from their beds and tossed them from their home.

This is just one of the amazing stories of survival after last week's tornadoes.

One woman from Meriwether County said words cannot describe what it was like to find her pregnant friend in need right after a tornado struck their community just outside Warm Springs.

Just a skeleton is left of Nicole Thomas's home.  It was ripped open from a tornado that hit the Ashley Lakes Mobile Home Park.

She and her 14 month old son were inside covered with a blanket and clinging to a bedpost when the storm hit.  After it passed, Thomas said she found a pregnant friend in need.

"I heard my neighbor and her son and I was like I can't get out, I can't get out, and she was like help me in, pull me in, pull me in," said Thomas.

Thomas told News Leader Nine she pulled her pregnant neighbor and her toddler through a hole in her living room and told them to lie in the bathtub and not move.

She said her neighbor with pine needles all in her hair recounted what happened.

"They were actually in the bed asleep and the next thing she knew she was in the air.  She ended up in some bushes and she came out.  She came running over here because she saw my car," said Thomas.

Thomas said being a mother as well her first reaction was to make sure everyone was safe.

"I kept thinking I need to help these people, and I helped her because I know she was pregnant and had a son and I had a son also.  So, when I pulled her through, my main concern was: are you okay?  Is your baby okay?  She felt her baby moving so she was kind of fine," said Thomas.

Thomas explained they were able to jump out of the backdoor of her trailer, and then waited for help.  While none of them were hurt, Thomas said the experience has had an effect on her young son.  She said he was asleep when the storm struck and now is haunted with nightmares.

"He wakes up in the middle of the night screaming and hollering reaching for me," said Thomas.

She said words cannot describe what she was feeling that night, but now, she is grateful.

FEMA and other organizations have set up in Manchester for the next six days to help tornado victims like Thomas get their lives back together.  The Meriwether County Sheriff's Department is asking for donations to also help the victims.  They said they need things like new clothing especially underwear and socks, bottled water, personal hygiene products, and canned foods.  If you would like to donate, they ask you drop off donations at the Warm Springs Fire Department at 3636 Whitehouse Parkway from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm daily.

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