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    Posted May 27, 2013 by
    Moore, Oklahoma
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Massive tornado hits Oklahoma

    Patricia0117 and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Tornado pummels Moore, Oklahoma
    More from Patricia0117

    Oklahoma Tornado Survivor - "The Wall that saved Michael's life......"


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Patricia0117 watched TV as the tornado in Oklahoma touched down. She listened to the weather broadcasters detailing the destruction. But she said the damage on TV could not comare to the live visual. Then she knew she had to go help the people in her state. 'Oklahomans do what Oklahomans do -- we all come together and help each other,' she says.

    And then Patricia0117 met Michael Roper and his wife Kiaya. Michael survived the tornado by lying face down next to a wall when the tornado touched down. Luckily, that is the only wall that remains of his house, and it saved his life. 'I have my family and my kids. We’re all healthy, and that’s all I need,' Michael Roper says in an interview with Patricia0117.

    In the meantime, Michael and Kiaya are staying in housing provided by the University of Oklahoma. But what impressed Patricia0117 the most about the couple was their optimism. 'I think that I was most struck by the devastation at their home and how both of them were still smiling in spite of the devastation,' she says.
    - PM91, CNN iReport producer

    Just when you think that you're having a bad day....think again....this is the only wall left standing at Michael and Kiaya Roper’s house.


    Michael was at home sleep the day that the EF5 Tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma. He works the night shift at his job.


    He got behind the only wall that is still standing and laid face down for what seemed like eons but was only seconds. When he opened his eyes after the violent winds ceased and the raging storm had passed over, he was laying face up looking up at the sky still next to the wall.

    Michael and Kiaya are from Arkansas. They relocated to Moore, Oklahoma because they fell in love with the people in our state. I think that we Oklahomans are the lucky ones. Who smiles that great big of a smile that you see on their faces in the pictures as you are sorting through the remnants and memories of your life. Michael and Kiaya are smiling.  They are so thankful.  They are alive, along with their two children Mikayla (Age 13) and Quentin (Age 15).


    I actually wanted to take pictures, but I left my camera in the car purposely because I did not want to be intrusive. I came to work and volunteer to help people.----not to be a CNN iReporter. The view was devastating and I could feel it all over my being. I was speechless.


    Michael's red old Ford truck is still standing in the driveway of his home. Michael made the statement that he wanted to send the picture to Ford Motor Company to show them how this truck was still standing in his driveway, but his newer SUV was somewhere across the street in the field. Michael shared: “They sure don’t make them like they use to”. I told him that I had my camera in the car and he told me to go get it. I'm going to send this picture to the Ford Motor Company for him.


    There was an awesome team of individuals that I was volunteering with today including my sister Sherry Beamon, Mike Workman, Elton Sykes, Vawnshekia Brown and many other Oklahoma Democrats from Tulsa and Oklahoma City. We were also joined by the softball team from Washington State that is here to play in the college softball playoffs this week. This group of young women came and worked as a team. We also met Kiaya’s fellow teachers from Central Elementary. They were pretty awesome. Kiaya teaches the 3rd grade at Central. She and the other teachers just knew that the tornado was headed for them next. Meanwhile, it was obliterating her home with her husband there.


    I think that GOD wanted me to meet Kiaya and Michael Roper. They are an awesome Christian family.  Michael's testimony was this about life-----that you are either getting ready for a storm, in the midst of a storm, or coming out of a storm and that he had experienced all three of these life experiences within seconds.  He said although he was scared, he didn't think that it was his time to die.


    I will never look upon life like I have in the past after spending almost the entire day with Kiaya and Michael. I love their testimony. We had an instantaneous bonding. I wanted to cry; but, their spirits and smiles outshined everything.


    I will have a testimony for the rest of my life after today.... Made a lot of new friends. Michael and Kiaya will be my friends for life----because of ‘The wall left standing!!...’

    Please note that there are more pictures above on buttons 2 through 9.

    More pictures from this devastating tornado also can be found on the following link:

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