Oklahoma City bombing's 'miracle babies' ready to move on

Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:21pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Heide Brandes

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Joseph Webb retains a long, thin scar on his face. PJ Allen remembers nothing of the fateful Oklahoma City day but still has breathing problems after the bombing 20 years ago that scalded his infant lungs.

Dubbed the 'miracle babies', Webb, Allen, Nekia McCloud, Chris Nguyen and Brandon and Rebecca Denny were the only six child survivors from their daycare center when a fuel and fertilizer bomb turned Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building into a tomb of rubble on April 19, 1995.

All were under the age of five.

Despite seared lungs, ravaged faces and mental and psychological scars, the small group of men and women now in their early 20s try not to dwell on the past.

"We've all moved on with our lives," said Nguyen, the oldest of the group at 25. He was pulled from the rubble with brain trauma, a broken jaw and ruptured eardrums and now works in guest relations for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder.

"We are all connected to this tragedy, but it doesn't define who we are," Nguyen told Reuters before a reunion this week under the Survivor Tree at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.

Another 15 children inside the America's Kids daycare center at the federal building were among the 168 people who died in the 1995 bombing - the nation's worst act of domestic terrorism. Over 680 people were injured in the attack.

Anti-government militant Timothy McVeigh, who conceived and carried out the bombing, was executed in 2001. His accomplice Terry Lynn Nichols is in prison for life.   Continued...

Nekia McCloud, PJ Allen, Brandon Denny, Chris Nguyen and Joseph Webb (L-R) reunite for the first time in ten years at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma April 12, 2015.    REUTERS/Heide Brandes