Karen Marinelli is a first grade teacher at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, OK. On the fateful afternoon of May 20, 2013, tornado sirens began to squeal. That day, the city was devastated by what the town refers to as a “monster,” an EF5 tornado that left 25 people dead.
Out in the hallway, Karen crouched over 6-year-olds Liam, Damian, and Dacari. As the brick wall crumbled onto her back, a 2,000-pound car fell into the hallway, crushing Karen and making it impossible for her to move. All the while, she instinctively and selflessly protected her students by shielding their small bodies.
Miraculously, the children were unharmed, but Karen suffered a broken back and fractured vertebrae, sprained ankles, and numerous puncture wounds and separated ligaments. She spent the next three months in a wheelchair.
The families of Liam, Damian, and Dacari were so eternally grateful that they rallied the community. Soon, strangers from all over the country were sending relief boxes for Karen. Inside one box were diapers and baby girl outfits. She found this particularly strange; Karen had no intention of having another baby, and certainly not a girl. After all, she already had four boys.
But read on to find out the miracle that took place after Karen opened this mysterious box…
Karen Marinelli is a first grade teacher at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, OK. In 2013, she was also a mother of four rambunctious boys.
On May 20, 2013, the Oklahoma town was devastated by a monster EF5 tornado that killed 25 people, including seven children who were students at Karen’s school.
Karen shielded 6-year-olds Liam, Damian, and Dacari as the brick wall crumbled onto her back. Suddenly, a car crashed into the hallway and trapped Karen — but she remained crouched over the three young students.
Thanks to Karen, the children were unharmed — but she suffered a broken back, fractured vertebrae, sprained ankles, and separated ligaments. Karen spent the next three months in a wheelchair.
Here’s Karen with the three students she shielded from the tornado. The grateful families of Liam, Damian, and Dacari helped rally the community behind the selfless teacher.
Soon, Karen was bombarded with relief boxes from strangers all over the country. Inside one box were diapers and baby girl outfits — only she had no intention of having another baby, and certainly not a girl. But it seemed the box was a sign from above…