Nightly News   |  May 21, 2013

Oklahoma mother reunited with her children

When Janna Ketchie realized the tornado was headed toward her childrens’ daycare center she wasn’t sure if she would ever see them again. After struggling to find her sons for hours she finally located them, safe and sound. NBC’s Ann Curry spoke to Ketchie at the Oklahoma University Medical Center.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> welcome back. and in this place where we are searching for good news to emphasize, let's take those death toll numbers that climbed as high as 91 when so many of us last checked in on them today. while we lost 24 souls here, it does mean we have more survivors walking around today. ann curry join us with just one of those stories. good evening.

>> reporter: that's right, brian. good evening to you. the scope of this tragedy is so overwhelming. one way to speak very clearly is the eyes of one family as that we found in a nearby hospital. jenna catchy wondered if she'd ever see her two little boys again. she dropped off grayson at day care before going to work. when she saw the tornado warning , she realized immediately it was heading directly for the day care center . what were you thinking?

>> i was thinking i have no idea about my kids. that's all i thought about.

>> reporter: she knew she couldn't get there in time. and you rode out a storm not knowing what was happening to your children.

>> not knowing if my kids are safe.

>> reporter: afterwards, cell phones and land lines didn't work. roads were covered with power lines and debris. for four hours she struggled to reach her children.

>> in that whole moment, you just feel completely helpless, helpless. you cannot do anything. and that's like what do we do now? what do you do when you're in this moment and you can't do anything? you can't get out.

>> reporter: prayers were answered?

>> yes. thank god.

>> reporter: unbelievably braden survived without a scratch.

>> mama's here.

>> reporter: grayson had a head injury and lacerations.

>> anything hurt in there?

>> reporter: but he's okay.

>> i just rocked them in my arms, just held them.

>> reporter: jenna says she learned the day care workers took the children into a bathroom and covered them with cots and their bodies. all survived. what do you say to those teachers?

>> thank you.

>> reporter: for covering your child.

>> risking your life --

>> reporter: risking their lives to protect your boys.

>> yes. they're heroes.

>> reporter: have you seen the photograph of what's left of the day care center ?

>> yes, i have. yes, i have. it's a miracle. it is a miracle. all those kids, my boys, got out.

>> reporter: jenna knows that her family has been incredibly lucky. it pains her to know that so many other families have not. by the way, i think we'll increasingly hear more about the need for psychological counseling for the children to make sense of the chaos they've witnessed here.

>> they've just seen too much. it's awfully tough out there. ann curry , thank you for