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‘They’ll be lifelong friends,’ Babies born during Moore tornado celebrate first birthdays

GOLDSBY, Okla. – Three very special 1-year-olds celebrated their birthdays together at the community center in Goldsby Sunday afternoon.

Kellen Jacobs, Braeden Taylor and Amari Hogan share a unique bond.

One year ago, their entrance into the world was being upstaged by a massive tornado headed right for their hospital, the Moore Medical Center.

The hospital took a direct hit from last year’s May 20 tornado.

“I remember the pressure building up in my ears. I remember the noise. I remember seeing all the debris flying around,” said Trakina Hogan, Amari’s mom.

Amari and Kellen had just been born.

Braeden was waiting for the storm to pass.

“She was in labor during, when the tornado hit, she was actually 9 centimeters dilated,” said Jerome Taylor, Braeden’s dad.

The nurse had to give Shayla Taylor medicine to stop her contractions and Braeden was later born at Norman Regional Hospital after his mom was moved.

On Sunday, the families were all together again, under much calmer circumstances, celebrating life.

The three boys sat side by side in booster seats, digging into their cupcakes.

“Isn’t that surprising? All boys to be born in a tornado. Hmm, what does that tell you about boys?” said Cindy Popejoy, who helped deliver Braeden.

The nurses who delivered these babies say of all the births they’ve been there for, these three will stay with them forever.

“These guys have a special place in our heart, that’s for sure,” said Erin Nichols, who helped deliver Amari.

“I’m blessed. I know it’s definitely, you know, it was by God’s grace that we’re all here together,” said Trakina Hogan.

These families were bound together by a traumatic experience, but they’re forever linked by the blessings that came out of that fateful day.

“They’ll be lifelong friends, little tornado kids,” said Aundrea Hogan, Amari’s dad.

The Hogans live in San Angelo, Texas now and drove five hours to come to the birthday party.

All of the families say they will definitely keep in touch and stay a part of each other’s lives.