Mother says newborn saved her from tornado

Mother says newborn saved her from Tornado

CONVENT, LA (WVUE) - As the tornado that made matchsticks out of dozens of RVs raged through the Sugar Hill RV Park, Abby Vicknair could only see the images from her hospital bed.

Vicknair, who lived at the RV park with her boyfriend and his brother, had just given birth to her son, Braxton Scott Blankinchip, on Monday afternoon, a day before the tornado destroyed her home.

She quickly realized she'd never be able to bring her baby back to the home she built.

"I was excited, even though it was a camper. I mean, I had everything set up - his little bassinet, his little machine, he had a mama-room with Bluetooth to hook to your phone and all, and he had a little goose that would read him lullabies, and I had a baby book with all of his ultrasounds. And now I have nothing," Vicknair said.

Her boyfriend's brother, Paul Blankinchip, was in the camper as the tornado touched down.

"I got in the bottom of the camper and it just started shaking," he said. "It started shaking real bad and it picked the camper up and I guess it started flipping. It just exploded and threw me out of it, and I landed over here and everything was just gone. It was destroyed and there were people everywhere just screaming."

But he was happy that his brother and his new nephew weren't anywhere close to the destruction - something the new mother thinks would have been life-threatening.

"I can't imagine having to do that with him in my arms or even in my stomach, knowing that you have a life like that, that they can't run away, they can't hide," Vicknair said.

Now she's just thankful to have her tiny family together, alive and well, despite the loss.

Just days after the tornado, she posted her situation on Facebook and immediately got an overwhelming outpouring of support as strangers donated baby supplies, clothes and toys - so much that she decided to try and help other families hurt by the tornadoes.

"We only need a few things, because he's just a baby," she said. "He can't really play with half of these toys, and I know there's a whole bunch of kids that used to run around that park and there's babies. No, we're just gonna donate it all back."

Right now she's counting her blessings, and while she still doesn't have a home, she's hopeful her small family will be able to rebuild and find a way to give little Braxton - the baby she credits with saving her life - the home he deserves.

"My little one. Wouldn't trade him for the world," Vicknair said.

If you'd like to help Vicknair and her family, click here to donate.

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