Virginia Beach woman loses newborn baby days after devastating Kentucky tornado


Jessica Cook, originally from Virginia Beach, is still unconscious. Her newborn baby died days after doctors in Nashville performed an emergency Caesarean section at 28 weeks.

MAYFIELD, Ky. – It has been a difficult few weeks for the Cook family.

“It feels like a roller coaster at times,” said Charles Cook.

A tornado swept through their Mayfield, Kentucky home last week, sending the family of six to hospital with various injuries. They lost their home and now they are facing more losses.

“On the 17th of this month my mom called and he was also in Nashville, my dad passed away,” he said. “On the 18th they called and Anna passed away.”

Doctors have told the family that baby Anna Joy – delivered by emergency cesarean at 28 weeks – has died of heart failure.

Charles remains in Mayfield, facing the losses of his daughter and father. He was unable to visit his wife Jessica, who is unconscious in a Nashville hospital. Doctors have performed several surgeries on Jessica and they say she is progressing.

“They will start to wean her off the drug and let her wake up when she is ready to do so,” said Casey Hoffman, Charles’s brother-in-law.

RELATED: Virginia Beach Native and Family Hospitalized After Tornado Tears Down Kentucky Home

The family are looking to move her to a center in Hampton Roads. When that happens, Charles will seek help in the area to be there for her and their children.

Their four sons, all under the age of 10, are recovering and staying with their families in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Charles often talks to them on the phone.

Hoffman is one of the many family members who look after them. He said some of the boys had broken bones from the tornado, but doctors told the family they would be healed soon.

He said the boys were still trying to deal with the incident and were away from their parents.

“Initially two of the kids had a really hard time with the tub because before the tornado they put all the kids in the tub,” he said. “So overcoming that hurdle took three or four days.”

They always keep the faith and stay positive. Charles can’t wait to see Jessica and their healthy sons.

“Being able to come home with my wife and kids under one roof… that means everything to me,” he said.

Hoffman said a Virginia Beach counseling group offered free sessions for the four young boys. Other organizations and community members donated clothes, toys and other necessities.

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