A 2-month-old girl who died on Monday has become the youngest victim of the deadly Kentucky tornadoes that ripped through the state last week. Oaklynn Koon suffered a stroke, a swollen head and injuries to her neck when the twister hit and despite desperate efforts from doctors couldn't be saved.
The girl's parents made desperate efforts to protect her and her siblings from a deadly tornado that ripped through Kentucky by hiding in the bathroom. However, the powerful tornado thrown them out from their Dawson Springs home and onto the other side of their neighbor's house that seriously injuring the 2-month-old child.
On Monday, Oaklynn succumbed to her injuries, her parents Doug and Jackie Koon said on Facebook. "At least I know who will be watching over you up there for me. My dad," Douglas wrote in a post showing his daughter's tiny hand in his. "God this doesn't seem real."
Oaklynn's parents tried to protect her and her siblings as the tornado approached. They had strapped her into her car seat in the bathroom and had put her brothers in the bathtub and covered themselves in pillows. However, even then the deadly tornado ripped through their home and the children were thrown onto the other side of their neighbor's house.
Oaklynn's death was confirmed by her family shortly before Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear released official death toll numbers for the state. At least 74 people died in Friday's storm and 100 are still missing. Oaklynn is so far the youngest among the victims but it is still not known if her name has been included in the list of those dead.
Oaklynn had spent two days in the hospital after the tornado tore through her hometown of Dawson Springs late Friday. Since being admitted to the hospital, she suffered multiple seizures over the next days. Doctors believe Oaklynn finally died after suffering another major stroke on Monday morning.
"It's not looking good guys at all. The machines are keeping her alive. Her head swelled really bad. She doesn't have activity," her parents said just hours before confirming her death.
"I'm in shock, my heart feels absolutely shattered. We love you Oakie."
Oaklynn was hospitalized along with her older brother Dallas, who was treated and then discharged on Sunday. The family's home was completely obliterated by the tornado, according to photos posted on social media.
During a press briefing Monday afternoon, Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear addressed the state and their efforts to help Kentuckians displaced by the storms. Beshear, who choked up again, confirmed that the death toll had risen by 10 since his morning press conference. He said at least 109 people remain unaccounted for.
The governor also ordered flags be flown to at half-staff until next Monday in remembrance of the lives lost and asked other states to follow suit. Authorities are still trying to determine the total number of dead as the storms made door-to-door searches impossible in some places.