Featured image via Shutterstock and does not show Oaklynn Koon.
Two-month-old Oaklynn Koon has died of the injuries she sustained in the devastating tornadoes that swept through Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee last weekend.
Baby Oaklynn initially survived the horror tornado, but her family made the heartbreaking decision to take her off a ventilator on Monday after brain swelling and bleeding became severe, ABC affiliate WHAS11 reported.
According to the news outlet, in a desperate attempt to brace themselves for the tornado’s impact, Oaklynn’s family gathered in the bathroom of her father’s mother-in-law’s home before being ripped from the house and thrown across the street by powerful winds.
Oaklynn’s father, Douglas Koon, had even strapped his baby in a car seat for extra protection.
“I felt helpless in protecting my kids against it,” Douglas told MSNBC. “It just picked us up and threw us around and landed us on the other side of the neighbor’s house.”
The family — which also included Douglas’ mother-in-law, wife Jackie, 11-year-old son Bentley and 4-year-old son Dallas — found themselves buried in debris, WHAS reported.
The entire family was treated at the hospital for their injuries, and at her first hospital evaluation, Oaklynn seemed to be doing fine, barring some cuts on her skin.
“Her heart rate and blood pressure were fine, CT scan results were fine, and the x-rays looked fine,” Douglas said. “Then later she was getting up and making grunting noises and something not right with her, so my wife took her back.”
Tragically, Oaklynn’s condition began to rapidly decline. Later that same day, tests revealed that her brain swelling had worsened due to internal bleeding. When her family heard the news from her doctor that she would be brain dead as the result of massive damage, they made the unimaginable decision to take her off life support.
“I don’t want to see my child suffer any longer than they have to because of me just trying to hold on to something that’s not there,” Douglas told WHAS. “I’m grateful to have at least two months. She was the cutest baby ever and had the biggest smile and most beautiful eyes.”
“You really never think you would be the one that goes threw [sic] something like this,” Oaklynn’s mother Jackie added. Man hold your loved ones tight. I’m surprised we all made it out alive. I never imagined having to go threw [sic] this in life.”
Click here to visit a GoFundMe page set up by a friend of the Koons if you would like to make a donation.