The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 7, 2013

Quapaw tribe’s firefighters, EMS personnel meet with children rescued at Home Depot in 2011

By Susan Redden

QUAPAW, Okla. — There were hugs, stories and the occasional tear this morning when two children who were trapped and seriously injured after the 2011 Joplin tornado met for the first time the Quapaw Tribe firefighters and emergency medical workers who pulled them from the wreckage and saved their lives that night.

Mason Lillard and Lage Grigsby were with their grandparents at the Home Depot in Joplin on May 22, 2011, when the tornado hit.

On that Sunday night more than two years ago, Mason, 10, was pinned inside her grandparent’s truck when an iron bar pierced the top of the vehicle, went through her torso and into the seat.

Lage, then 14, was thrown from the heavy-duty truck when it was tossed about 300 feet by winds.

Mason had to be cut from the vehicle and transported to the hospital sitting up, with the bar still through her body.

Lage wasn’t taken to the hospital immediately because emergency workers did not believe he would survive trauma that included serious head injuries. In fact, he was initially taken to a morgue, and was only rescued for the second time after a nurse heard him making sounds.

Jeff Reeves, fire chief, likened this morning’s meeting to closing a circle.

“We were so glad we are able to do this and see them face to face,” he said.