LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - The recovery process is slow and steady for an 8-year-old boy critically injured in a north Alabama tornado in December.
Landen Godsey suffered extensive injuries in the Lawrence County storm that also claimed his parents’ lives. His grandmother, Annie Collier, has stepped up as his main caregiver. She spoke exclusively with WBRC FOX6 News.
"He's just a special little boy and he needs all his family now to take care of him," Collier said.
Landen is still recovering at Children's of Alabama in Birmingham.
"He's doing much better because at first it was nothing," Collier said.
Landen can now use his left hand to give a thumbs up, he can give a fist bump and he’s working to touch his nose.
Landen still has a trach and can’t speak, but he has made strides in eating, recently having taken a few bites of applesauce.
"I'm very grateful for everything everyone has done," Collier said.
His family doesn’t know what he remembers about the tornado. His counselors at the hospital plan on doing memory tests this week to gauge what he recalls.
Part of Landen’s recovery includes seeing familiar faces, including classmates who visited him in the hospital, and seeing familiar places. That’s why his grandmother wants to get Landen back to north Alabama when he’s released from the hospital.
"I just want to get us a place to live in Moulton, because he's going back to Moulton schools, because he's got to be around familiar environments. So that's his school family loves him so naturally we're going back to Moulton. We've first got to get us a home there," Collier added.
The family’s mobile home was destroyed in the December tornado and they didn’t receive much insurance money, so they have nowhere to go when Landen is released from the hospital in about two weeks.
After an outpouring of support and concern from the community, the family created a GoFundMe account to help with housing expenses. You can donate by clicking here.