Valley couple lost daughter to Joplin tornado, remains hopeful

A little over a month ago, Terry and Yolanda Reed's lives were virtually shattered.

Their daughter Sharyl Nelsen, formerly of Brownsville, was living in Joplin, Missouri and made a frantic call to her husband with her son Aaron listening nearby.

"It was raining harder and harder and my dad got a call from my mom that the tornado was there and glass was breaking, so I called my grandma and grandpa and told them, and I said mom is in the tornado can you pray for us and her," said Aaron Nelson, Sharyl's son.

The Reed's who had spent a great portion of their lives praying for other and working as missionaries around the world along with Sharyl, closed their eyes and made a desperate plea that she be spared from the tornado's wrath.

Back in Joplin, Aaron waited anxiously for his mom to call back from her workplace which sat in the path of the storm..

"We could hear the tornado sirens and on the radio that the tornado touched down," said Aaron.

The little boy never heard back from his mom and neither did her parents.

What they did learn was that the 34-year-old let two people into her workplace who were looking for shelter from the tornado.

She ended up in a less secure area of the building, exposing herself to debris.

"The beam collapsed on her," Yoland said. "They gave tribute because if it hadn't been for her they would have been taken by the tornado."

Aaron agreed.

"She saved two people and she didn't suffer, she was instantly gone in a snap," he recalled.

It's been a hard few weeks for the entire family trying to make sense of their tragic loss, but the Reeds think they know how to honor Sharyl while bringing comfort to themselves and others in their position back in Joplin.

"We feel that having suffered a loss, losing our daughter, part of our way to cope is being able to help others," said Terry Reed.

They're moving away from the Valley, taking their grandson back to his home in Joplin where they plan to minister to those in need, as well as, recruit business in the area which was destroyed.

"We know that this is what Sharyl wants, she always wanted us to move over there. We have to, even though it's very painful but it's painful to be here too," said Yolanda.

Aaron will go back to be with his dad and sister Mattie in Joplin and will continue being the active little boy his grandparents say he is, just without the woman who was his hero even before she put others lives before her own.

When asked what it's been like without his mother Aaron responded.

"You can't talk to her, you can't be with her, and you can't watch movies with her," he said. "You can't ask her if you needed something, and you don't have everything."