Premature Births Saves Family

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JOPLIN - The night before Jayme Harper gave birth, she knew something didn't feel right.

Harper explained, "The night before you know, you could tell something was wrong, my sleeping was different."

Nine weeks early, on May 17th, Harper delivered triplets at Freeman Hospital.

"Addison and Lauren were 1 pound, 12 ounces and 2 pounds, 2 ounces so they were really small.  Reagan was 3 pounds, 12 ounces, so it was a major significance in size," Harper said.

Jayme had triplets nine weeks early, an accident the Harpers call a miracle.

They explained, "If we'd have been there (at home) and she'd still been pregnant and anything like that would have happened...we wouldn't have never made it...we might have but the babies certainly might not have."

Harper delivered the triplets by cesarean section.  This surgery caused her to remain at Freeman longer than expected.  By Saturday, May 21st, Jayme and her husband prepared to leave the Hospital - until Jayme experienced high blood pressure.

"After a C-Section I knew I would be here a couple days longer, then came Saturday, whenever I was supposed to be out, and my blood pressure would not go down at all," Harper said.

Harper explained, "The next night, there was a storm brewing and my nurse was in there giving me my evening medicine, it was probably about five o'clock in the afternoon, next thing you know we were watching the weather channel of all things.  They alerted to a severe thunderstorm warning or may have been a tornado.  The nurse went back to her station and the next thing you know she's letting me know to get in the bathroom because there's going to be a major storm."

"I took the dogs out and got something to eat, and thought I'd be there a while, I turn the corner on 32nd Street and the sirens were sounding.  They sound all the time so no big deal, and she texted me she was in the bathroom.  Next thing we know, we're sitting in there and we hear a whistle," Chris Harper explained. 

The Harpers didn't know devastation touched down in Joplin, destroying their home along the way.

"They're telling us the severity of it and you know I'm like certainly it hasn't got our house, it was the most awful thing I've ever seen," Jayme thought. 

It was awful, but a devastating storm that Jayme and Chris Harper didn't have to see first hand, thanks to three very early arrivals.