Victim dies 73 days after tornado

May 20 tornado victim Kathryn Begay, 90, dies. She has been in the hospital since she was injured when the tornado destroyed her Moore home.
BY DIANA BALDWIN Staff Writer dbaldwin@opubco.com Published: August 2, 2013
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A 90-year-old woman who was critically injured in the May 20 tornado died Thursday.

Kathryn Begay died at Integris Hospice House in Oklahoma City, 73 days after her Moore home was destroyed and she was taken to the hospital with a skull fracture.

Officials from the state medical examiner's office, which previously said 24 people died in the EF5 tornado, said Thursday they had not been notified of her death.

“She was making a strong recovery,” said her son Greg Begay. “Then she had a stroke shortly after surgery to repair damage to her scalp.

“This scalp injury was caused by the skull fracture she suffered during the tornado.”

She has had two strokes since being injured in the tornado.

The EF5 tornado took the lives of 24 people before Kathryn Begay's death.

Sheryll Brown, director of the state Health Department's Injury Prevention Service, said health department records will count Kathryn Begay's death as a tornado injury death.

Kathryn Begay, confined to a wheelchair, was an independent woman who wouldn't leave her Moore home in the wake of the approaching tornado. Family members tried to get her out before the tornado devastated Moore and south Oklahoma City.

She was pulled from the rubble near SW 12th and Santa Fe by her grandson, Stephen Begay, an EMSA emergency medical technician.

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