Man Takes in Ex-Wife's Child After She Was Killed in Tornado

alabama tornadoes, orphans
Garrett LeClere and his new guardian Jeff McCormick.

The Tornadoes that swept across Alabama and other Midwestern and Southern states last month were some of the worst storms on record.  According to TIME, “In Alabama alone, at least eight kids lost their parents.”  One such young boy, 5-year-old Garrett LeClere, “survived with broken arms and a fractured skull after his parents stuffed the boy and his 13-year-old sister in the bathtub of their Phil Campbell, Ala., home to help shield them from the storm.”  LeClere survived, but his parents did not.  He, like some other tornado orphans, may have ended up in foster care, but instead he was rescued from the system by his mother’s ex-husband.

Jeff McCormick, a fireman who was formerly married to LeClere’s mother, has taken the 5-year-old in and will raise him with the help of his wife.  McCormick has two other children, so LeClere will get to grow-up alongside siblings.  TIME doesn’t give any indication about who will raise LeClere’s 13-year-old sister.

Other tornado survivors who are left orphaned include a 21-year-old college student who will now be responsible for her 18- and 14-year-old sisters.

Source and photo: TIME

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