"A special angel": Tributes paid to 9-year-old girl killed by tornado 5 months ago

"A special angel": Tributes paid to 9-year-old girl killed by tornado

"She was an angel walking among us"

Tributes have been paid to 9-year-old Annistyn Rackley who was tragically killed by a tornado in southeast Missouri.

The young girl sadly passed away on Friday, December 10th.

Her parents Trey and Meghan Rackley sheltered in a windowless bathroom with their three daughters.

They sent a photo of the three young girls in the bath to reassure their family they were in a "safe space".

However, a mere 15 minutes later, a tornado hit their home. The family was carried dozens of yards through the air. The family of five was discovered in a field.

First responders pronounced young Annistyn dead at the scene.

Her mother is now fighting for survival in hospital, but her father and two sisters survived the horror.

Annistyn was in third grade. She loved dancing, cheerleading, and swimming.

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Meghan's aunt Sandra Hooker said that little Annistyn was a miracle.

She told People, "I believe she was an angel walking among us, because she was so kind and sweet and loving and caring, not just to me, but to everyone.

"And God can give us a miracle with Meghan."

The aunt explained that Annistyn was born with biliary atresia. 80% of the children with this disease have to have a liver transplant by the time they are 18.

"Here she is at 9, living a full life. Her mom and her dad encouraged her and supported her to live life to the full."

"And she did, right up till the tornado killed her."

Her younger sisters have been informed about their sister's harrowing death.

When her grandmother told 7-year-old Avalinn about Annnistyn's passing, she said, "Then I'll have to be the big sister to Lani."

Meghan and Avalinn remain in hospital, but Trey and their youngest daughter Lani have been discharged.