Joplin Woman Gives Birth To Baby One Day After Massive Tornado

Tuesday, May 22nd 2012, 11:17 pm
By: Karl Torp

On May 22, hours before the Joplin Tornado tore apart the lives of so many, Angie Saporito was ready to bring a new life to the world.

"We headed over here and the contractions, the whole thing, and this is it," Saporito said.

Those at St. Johns Hospital thought so too.

"They said it's your third, probably won't take long," Saporito said.

The dad was calling friends and family, many started heading to the hospital. But out of nowhere, Saporito's contractions suddenly stopped. A disappointed Saporito and her husband were eventually sent home and told they'd probably be back that evening.

Later that evening, from the safety of that home 30 miles from Joplin, the Saporitos watched in astonishment. St. Johns Hospital, the same place they were at earlier that day, was now a tattered shell of itself. It was destroyed.

"When we saw this, I got really emotional and my husband was saying 'you can't do this, we don't know where to go, we can't walk in and have a baby,'" Saporito said.

But all the things the couple did to calm the mom down and postponed the birth wasn't working. The Saporitos rushed to another Joplin hospital.

"He's hanging out the window in a torrential downpour saying ‘my wife having a baby, my wife's in labor,' Saporito said.

They did get there, and in a hospital packed with those badly injured from the tornado, Saporito delivered a son.

"Literally holding on to your perfect newborn and watching this play out, it was difficult to see something so wonderful happened to us, and we're watching something awful play out for so many," Saporito said.

Little Cord Saporito will turn one on May 23. He's believed to be the first baby born since the tornado. One day he'll hear the story of when and where his parents were convinced he'd be introduced to the world, but why he came a day later is hard to explain right now.

Joplin Tornado Timeline

Saporito would have been on the eighth floor of the hospital had she given birth on May 22.

Six people at the hospital lost their lives.