Pregnant Woodridge woman severely injured, loses unborn child to tornado trauma
A tree that crashed through a Woodridge house during the tornado Sunday night caused lasting damage beyond repair for one family.
Katie Wilson was pregnant with her second child when she was severely injured as she sought shelter from the powerful storm, and her unborn son did not survive the trauma.
Prayers, condolences, words of support and donations accumulated on the GoFundMe page established at 11 a.m. Wednesday by Wilson's aunt, Gina Gordey. By 5:30 p.m. Thursday, 1,400 donors had contributed $79,765 toward the $100,000 goal to support the Wilson family.
"Katie, Bryan and their daughter, Ryen, are going to need as much support as possible," according to the GoFundMe page. "It will be a long road to recovery with mounting medical bills as well as funeral expenses for their unborn son."
Katie was seven months pregnant as she, Bryan and Ryen headed to the basement when disaster struck.
"My sister, Katie got the warning. They were getting themselves down as soon as they possibly could," Nick Vanek told ABC 7 Chicago.
"Katie was trailing behind. That's when the tree came through the house and struck my sister before she could make it downstairs," he said.
Katie was struck in the shoulder and neck, ABC 7 reported. According to the GoFundMe page, she was taken to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital where she was treated and had surgery for her injuries.
She was later airlifted to University of Chicago Medicine, where she was examined by specialists and had more treatment and surgery, according to the page. The hospital did not have permission to release details, according to a spokesperson.
According to the online publication Patch, the family had just sold their house in Bolingbrook and was staying with Bryan Wilson's parents when the tornado struck. Vanek told Patch they planned to move next week to a house in Woodridge.
"Our family is very appreciative for the outpouring of support and prayers we have received," according to the GoFundMe page. "Thank you in advance for your generosity and no amount is too small."
A statement provided as part of a story on WGN-TV said the family was overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support.
"It really shows how amazing Katie's community is that so many people are offering kind words and generous support in such a hard time," the statement read.
The powerful tornado touched down at 11:05 p.m. and had a top speed of 140 mph. It traveled a 16.1-mile path from the Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve in Naperville to Willow Springs where it lifted.
Hundreds of homes were damaged. Eleven people in Naperville and Woodridge required medical treatment for reported injuries.
Woodridge Rotary Club has been designated by the village as its charitable partner to collect and redistribute donations for tornado-affected residents.