When a devastating tornado touched down in Moore, Okla., on Monday afternoon, Shayla Taylor was on the upper floor of the local hospital, in active labor with her second child.
As the floor shook “like an earthquake” beneath her and ceiling tiles and insulation fell overhead, the 25-year-old huddled with four nurses, braving both the peak contractions of childbirth and the wrath of the worst twister the veteran Oklahoman had ever endured.
“We were all just sitting there holding each other’s hands and praying,” Taylor told NBC News.
Moore Medical Center, a 46-bed acute care hospital at 700 S. Telephone Road, took a direct hit from the F-5 tornado, with wind speeds that topped 200 miles per hour.
The blow devastated the hospital, as news photos plainly show, ripping away the roof and walls.
After the chaos, Taylor said she heard not the freight train sound described by so many witnesses, but the absolute silence of the storm’s center. Then she opened her eyes.
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