Cities in Missouri and Oklahoma are still picking up the physical pieces from Sunday's devastating tornado. But many more people in the area are picking up the metaphorical pieces. Two such people are 25-year-old Bethany Lansaw and middle-aged father Hank Hamil.
First the story of Hamil, who fought back tears yesterday in Oklahoma during a news conference after announcing that police had found his missing son. Unfortunately, though, 3-year-old Ryan was found dead in a lake near the family's home. But that's not all. Hamil also lost his 15-month-old son, Cole. The Daily Mail explains:
The family was torn apart as their home in Piedmont, Oklahoma, was devastated by a tornado on Tuesday.
Mr Hamil's pregnant wife, Catherine, remains in a fair condition in hospital, while his five-year-old daughter remains critical.
His 15-month-old son Cole died yesterday in an Oklahoma City hospital.
The unborn baby is said to be doing fine.
An emotional Mr Hamil said Ryan was his 'little buddy' as he confirmed that his son had died. He had been missing since the tornado hit two days ago.
'It's a bad deal,' said the distraught father. 'I lost both my boys. I loved them both.'
Breaking down in tears he said: 'I was hoping we were going to find Ryan today alive.'
'We found my other son this morning, Ryan, he was floating in the water on the west side of the lake.
'I just want to thank everybody for helping and being there.'
This is Hamil's emotional press conference:
In Joplin, MO another heartbreaking story is coupled with a tale of heroism. Bethany Lansaw and her husband, Don, were caught in the middle of that city's deadly twister. As the storm raged, Don threw himself on Bethany in the couple's bathtub, saving her and sacrificing himself:
‘He got on top of me to take the brunt of most of it and he’s my hero,’ Mrs Lansaw said in a tearful interview.
'I mean the house was ripping apart, it all happened so fast. All the pillows were flying off of us, the only thing I managed to do was keep one in front of my face.'
As the winds died down, Mrs Lansaw looked up to see that her husband was turning blue.
Hoping she could still save him, she flagged down a pick-up truck to get help finding an ambulance, but it was too late.
After six years of marriage, her childhood sweetheart had died.
The tornadoes killed 125 in Joplin and another 16 across parts of three other stakes including Oklahoma.