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Young tornado victim released from hospital

LEE COUNTY, AL (WRBL) - Shortly after coming home from a camping trip with her dad, soon to be stepmom, and best friend Taylor, the tornado touched down in Lee County. 

Kayla was the only survivor of the group. After riding out the storm, she was left severely injured with a broken ankle, broken femur, crushed hip, internal bruising and a cut on her face and right eye. 

Today she was released from the Children's Hospital in Birmingham. 

Folks lined the entrance of Providence Baptist Church to welcome 11-year-old Kayla Grimes back home. Her mother was moved to tears after seeing the overwhelming show of love and support for her child. 

"We can't thank you guys enough," Michelle Gladden said. 

Kayla sat like a queen in the backseat and waved to everyone who made it out to Providence Baptist Church. She says she was happy to be back but she's not quite ready for school yet. 

Supporters came up to the truck to congratulate and encourage Kayla. Some brought balloons. Joseph Blackstone is in Kayla's 6th-grade class at Samford Middle School.  

He fought back tears after seeing her for the first time since the storm.

"I felt nervous. She's nice, she's a hard-working person, she has good grades, she's nice. She's one that will be a good friend," Blackstone said.

Applause and cheers filled the air as the engines of her escorts fired up for the next stop.

"We're headed home.." Michelle and Adam said. 

Kayla isn't ready to head back to school yet but she's ready to see her friends and teachers, and they're ready to see her as well.

So on Monday, she'll ride by her middle school and wave to her friends... just like today.


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