Oklahoma mother recounts being in labor during May 20 tornado

To celebrate his first birthday, Shayla Taylor brought her son to the place where he was almost born. Taylor was in labor with Braeden, 1, at Moore Medical Center when a deadly tornado hit on May 20, 2013.
by Silas Allen Published: May 20, 2014

To celebrate her son’s first birthday, Shayla Taylor brought him to the place where he was almost born.

Taylor, 26, was in labor in an operating room at Moore Medical Center on May 20, 2013, when a rare EF5 tornado demolished the building around her. On Tuesday, Taylor, her husband, Jerome Taylor, and their son, Braeden, were among hundreds of people in attendance at a remembrance ceremony for the 25 people killed in the tornado.

Shayla Taylor said she knew bad weather was a possibility, so she kept an eye on forecasts. When a tornado warning was issued, nurses took Shayla Taylor into an operating room and shepherded her family into a cafeteria. She knew it wouldn’t be long before Braeden was born, she said.

When the tornado struck, Shayla Taylor could feel the walls shake, she said. The storm ripped a hole in the wall of the operating room.

Once the tornado passed, Jerome Taylor climbed out of the building through a hole in the wall. When he got outside, he couldn’t find anyone to help get his wife out of the second-story operating room. So he and another man went back inside, found a stairwell and made their way to her.

When they found her, Jerome Taylor went back outside and found emergency workers to help get his wife out of the building. Once she was outside, Shayla Taylor was transferred to Norman Regional Medical Center, where Braeden was born at 7:25 p.m. that day. He missed the tornado by a few hours, Shayla Taylor said.

“He was almost there,” she said.


by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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