Mrs. Patty Smith:
Interview conducted May 22nd, 2007


Patty and her husband owned a general store in Eastwood at the time and saw the storm as it passed by to their north. After the tornado, Patty went into Van Buren to see if she could help out somehow. She was a Practical Nurse. There was a doctor’s office in town that she periodically volunteered at. She decided to see if the office needed some help with the injured. When she got there, the nurse on duty was just hysterical and the doctor decided to send her home. When Patty asked the doctor whether or not he needed her help, he said absolutely! She said that she saw about 10-12 patients. One patient was a fisherman who hid under a bridge when the tornado struck in Van Buren. His head was cut open and she helped the doctor sew him back up. She also saw little Theresa Jones, whose mother Marlene and brother DeWayne were killed in the tornado in Fremont. Theresa was found in the top of a tree that had fallen, about a half mile from her house. She had a broken thigh and a stick was driven into her head behind her ear. Patty said that Theresa was unconscious when she arrived, but her wounds were taken care of and then she was sent to the hospital in Poplar Bluff. Patty said she also saw a woman who had a heart attack when someone had told her that her husband (James Renick) had died in the tornado. Patty said she remembers that the damage in Van Buren was the worst right along the river. However, Patty spent most of her time trying to help whoever needed assistance after the tornado.


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