ARDMORE — Kaylee Fambrough doesn’t have to fall into a deep sleep to experience the greatest nightmare of her young life. The teenager doesn’t even need to close her eyes. Grisly images of her dead parents — Gail and Vincent Fambrough — in the aftermath of the Feb. 10 Lone Grove tornado haunt her around the clock. "I think about it 100 times a day,” said Kaylee, 13. "The wind picked up strong. I got scared and got out of the bathtub. I was completely naked, and Mom told me to put a towel or robe on and to stay away from all the doors and windows. But I was scared, and I ran into her arms for that moment I’ll always remember. "Then I heard a great crash against the house.” When she opened her eyes, she was in a field of debris, some 300 feet from her family’s trailer home. "I was scared to death,” Kaylee said tearfully. "My mother was no longer in my arms.” Kaylee soon found her father’s bloodied and battered body, realizing her mother must have also died in the twister. The girl’s worst fear was soon confirmed. Danna McCord, Kaylee’s 27-year-old half-sister, instinctively stepped in to ease the suffering. McCord, her husband Stephen, and their three children welcomed Kaylee into their two-bedroom Ardmore home. "I haven’t been able to grieve,” said Danna McCord, Gail Fambrough’s soft-spoken daughter. "I haven’t had time.” McCord’s days revolve around her children — Cameron, 7; Tyler, 6; and Jaelyn, 1 — Kaylee, and a file case stuffed with her sister’s legal paperwork. The files contain correspondence between McCord and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, her mother’s life insurance company, a local funeral home and a family attorney. The paperwork represents a seemingly endless source of heartache. So far, FEMA has dealt the family its toughest psychological blow. On March 9, McCord learned her sister had qualified for more than $36,300 under FEMA’s Individual and Households Program for funeral expenses, loss of property and replacement housing. She planned to deposit the bulk of it into a trust for Kaylee until she turned 18, only to discover FEMA made a mistake. "FEMA called and asked us to return the check,” McCord said. "They told us Kaylee was owed more money. So we sent the check back like they asked. Then they sent us a check for $6,000, and told us that’s all Kaylee was getting. We were told she didn’t qualify for any housing because she wasn’t 18. So because she isn’t 18, she isn’t entitled to money for the home she lost? "It was her home, too.” McCord is flustered by the logic. "We never intended to go to FEMA,” she said. "We weren’t interested in the money, but friends encouraged us and said FEMA could help. Everyone else in Lone Grove was getting help. Why not Kaylee? So we contacted FEMA. Now I wish we never had. That’s not right what they did to Kaylee.” Gail Fambrough’s life insurance company also stonewalled, McCord said. She was forced to involve the family attorney. "It’s getting harder to trust people,” McCord said, wondering about a benefit concert supposedly staged for Kaylee recently at a Nashville bar. The Fiddle and Steel Guitar Bar hosted the fundraiser March 3, publicizing "Nashville Cares for Kaylee.” No one associated with the bar ever contacted the family or returned messages left by The Oklahoman. "My mother-in-law told me she saw it on the Internet,” McCord said. "We have since spoken with a lady who said they raised three times more than what they had anticipated. That’s really nice — if it’s true.”
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HOW TO HELPTickets available for benefit concert ARDMORE — Tickets go on sale today for Willie Nelson’s April 22 concert at the Heritage Hall in Ardmore for a show that will benefit Carter County’s tornado victims. Proceeds from a guitar auction, tips, and concessions will be placed in a trust fund at The First National Bank for victims of the Feb. 10 tornado, which claimed eight lives. The idea is the brainchild of Aubry Harris, the show’s promoter and owner of Two Frogs Grill. Harris raised nearly $19,000 for victims during a March 14 benefit concert. "This is our restaurant’s 16th anniversary of being in business, and so this concert was already planned,” Harris said. "We just thought why not also roll into a fundraiser for the tornado victims. I bet we’ll raise between $5,000 and $6,000 on just Willie alone.” Tickets can be purchased by calling Two Frogs Grill at (580) 226-3764 or at www.ticketstorm.com. RON JACKSON, Staff Writer