The following days were hectic, Taylor said, as she attempted to balance reconciling what had happened with caring for a newborn. Even now, Taylor, who lives in Oklahoma City, said traveling through Moore brings back raw emotions.
“It’s a memory, it’s like relieving it. Everybody wants to hear about it and everybody is excited about it and in awe about it. It’s like you never get to forget. But it’s always there,” she said. “It’s just been a lot of that. There’s still some days that I just sit and cry.”
For the nurses that day was a blur of instinctually performing their job, leaving little room to stop and ponder the magnitude of the situation they had just survived.
“I still just feel like I did whatever needed to be done at work that day,” Heeke said. “And the rest of it isn’t real to me. I look at pictures of that room that we were in. It happened and I can talk about it — but was I really in the middle of a tornado? It’s hard to wrap your mind around that.”
“Even six months later,” Stephens added. “You’d think by now it would have hit us and we’d have a reality check.”
Heeke, Stephens and Brand now work at the HealthPlex with many of the other staff members from their unit at the Moore Medical Center. Though the women have been welcomed with open arms by the HealthPlex staff, Heeke said they miss their old building and are still coping with the change.
“You wonder sometimes why certain things happen,” Heeke said. “I’m a believer that God puts you places for a reason and things happen to you for a reason — whatever that is. It’s still an emotional thing you have to deal with. And it’s very difficult for people who haven’t been through it to understand it.”