WSFA 12 News Exclusive: Young Fun Zone Tornado Survivor Speaks

Imagine, trying to care for more than 2 dozen children during the storm.

Just before the tornado hit, several parents had just dropped off their children at the Fun Zone. One of the children inside at the time, a two year old boy named A.J.  He is only 3-years-old but he lived through a nightmare no child should ever experience.

A.J. remembers the sound of the wind made and the concrete walls that fell around him the day the Fun Zone was hit by the tornado. A.J. and his parents and grandparents spoke only to WSFA 12 News Anchor Valorie Lawson. He said, "Then I covered my ear like this. Tight, like this. I was scared."

It began as an ordinary day for little Adam Johnson. He was inside the Fun Zone when the sky turned dark. Then, a little after 10a.m. panic and fear set-in when a tornado dropped down from that dark sky and ripped apart the building. 31 children were inside.

A.J.'s mom April was among the many parents who flocked to the site to check on their child. April says, "I didn't know if he was ok.  I didn't know if he made it out. I didn't know if they had found him." April was waiting out the storm in a drug store not far away, when she got a phone call saying the Fun Zone had been hit.  When she arrived at what was once her son's daycare, she found her scared, confused and bruised little boy wrapped in a blanket. April says, "He had a busted lip a busted nose and a bruise from shoulder to shoulder."

A.J.'s grandparents were also concerned. His grandmother, Lynita Johnson, "I couldn't begin to imagine the fear or confusion that went through his mind."  When Lynita Johnson finally reached her grandson her fears were calmed. She says, "He looked up at me and held his little arms up it was awesome because I'd been so scared."

Now, a year later, A.J. is still a little afraid of the wind when it blows. His mother hopes time will erase all the bad memories, and leave only happy ones  - of a place meant for fun.

Reporter: Valorie Lawson