Moore Tornado Survivor Turns Trauma into Talent
MOORE, Oklahoma - As a first grader, she survived the tornado that destroyed Moore’s Plaza Towers Elementary. But back on May 20, 2013, Haleigh Legg says she huddled next to her classmates as the EF5 tore through everything in its path.
Her brother Christopher, who was also in a different building at the school, fell victim to the storm.
Eleven surgeries later and Legg still suffers from permanent hearing loss.
“I just remember going to school,” Legg says, "and they went over a bunch of tornado drills. At first, we were in the hallway and I think I got knocked out by a brick or something. All I remember is being pulled by the back of my shirt into a bathroom.”
Haleigh says she had to quit dancing. It was too hard to find the rhythm with her hearing aid. She immediately set her sights on recovery and turned her focus to archery. She says it helps target and treat the trauma the tornado left behind.
“To me,” Legg says, "it's a really fun sport and I really enjoy it, and yes, some days I consider it a release from the world. It does help and then some days I am like, 'It doesn't help at all.'"
Her mother, Danni, says she is at the top of her game. Today, Legg competed in the ASA Indoor State Championship. Tomorrow, she’ll face some of the best in the State Games of Oklahoma. She says with a little ambition, you can accomplish a lot.
“I want to go to the Olympics," Legg says. "I really do."
As the anniversary of her brother's death approaches, she reminds herself to breathe and focus on the future, while remembering Christopher with love. Next weekend, she’ll be in Las Vegas for the Vegas Shoot, an international competition hosted by the National Field Archery Association.