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Already a tornado survivor, first baby is born at TCHC

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Skylar Schwab will grow up hearing a fantastic story.

Tri-County Hospital's first baby of 2011 arrived Jan. 1 and the baby girl was given her name for an amazing episode that occurred seven months ago.

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Skylar's mother, Samantha, was in the third month of her pregnancy when a twister roared over the Troy Manselle farm two miles southwest of Bluffton on the afternoon of June 17.

Skylar's parents, Samantha and Gene, and Samantha's cousin, Manly Beach, were in the house when they saw the twister approaching. They rushed to the basement stairs but before they could reach the bottom the stairway collapsed. As they fell into the basement, the house above them disappeared.

Samantha took a blow to the head that rendered her unconscious. When she came around about a minute later she had another big surprise in store for her -- there was a calf lying across her legs. The calf, which belonged to Manselle, had been picked up by the tornado and dropped into the basement. It had some cuts and bruises, just as Samantha, Gene and Manly, but by some miracle they had all survived the terrifying ordeal.

"We wanted something to do with the tornado and that is why we named her Skylar," Samantha said.

The Manselle farm was completely destroyed and for the next couple of months, Skylar and her folks had to keep moving to keep a roof over their heads. The family now lives in New York Mills. There are no storm clouds on the horizon for the 7 pound, 9 ounce baby girl.

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