UPDATE: Toddler Tornado Victim Walking Again

One of the youngest tornado victims from the April 16 storms that tore through Eastern Carolina is making progress in his recovery.

Evan Salerno was not quite two years old when the storms hit his family's house aboard Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville. Kelsey Salerno says she was about to get Evan out of his crib when the tornado hit their house head on, ripping off the second floor of their house.

Evan came home from the hospital in May, just in time to celebrate his second birthday. He has received physical, speech and occupational therapy. Kelsey happily reports that just two weeks ago Evan started walking again.

"Looking at him now, you would never know something so terrible happened to him just a few months ago," Kelsey said.

The Salerno family is settled in to a new home, and they are grateful for the support from the community.

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The toddler from Camp Lejeune severely injured in the April 16th tornado, has been upgraded to fair condition.

Officials at Pitt County Memorial Hospital say 23-month-old Evan Salerno is making improvements after suffering from several broken bones and a collapsed lung. The child is now breathing on his own. He suffered extensive injuries when the tornado ripped off the second story of his home.

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Officials at Pitt County Memorial Hospital have listed a toddler injured in Saturday's storms in critical condition, just a day after he was upgraded to serious.

23-month-old Evan Salerno sustained major injuries after the tornado leveled his home at Camp Lejeune.

Although he has been listed in critical condition, officials say that his condition has not worsened. This is despite the news media being told on Wednesday that Evan's condition had improved to serious.

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The medical condition of a toddler injured in Saturday's tornado outbreak has improved from critical to serious, according to officials at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville Wednesday.

Evan Salerno, a 23-month-old whose house was leveled when a tornado hit Camp Lejeune, has several serious injuries, according to a family friend. However, Evan was improving faster than doctors expected.

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The youngest injured victim of the deadly storms in Eastern Carolina Saturday could be Evan Salerno, a 23-month-old who lives at Camp Lejeune. His family's house was leveled when a tornado hit Saturday, according to family friend, Jenny Howard of Jacksonville.

For such a tiny body, Evan's injuries are extensive. Howard says he has three fractured ribs, a cracked pelvis, a broken right femur, a fractured arm and a collapsed lung. However, Evan is healing faster than doctors expected, according to Howard.

His mother, Kelsey, was also injured during the storm, but not as severely. Evan's father was at pre-deployment training, but he was rushed back to the area and joined his wife and son at the hospital in Greenville around 4 p.m. Sunday.

As the family focuses on Evan's healing, Howard says she's collecting items to help the family. "They lost everything. Their house is leveled," Howard told WITN. She also says people have responded generously to the call for help for the Salernos. So far, a washer and dryer have been collected, along with living room and bedroom furniture. One item they still need more of--diapers. Howard says Evan wears size 5.

Howard says she's donating any duplicate items given to the Salernos to the USO, so nothing will go to waste. People wishing to donate may contact Jenny Howard in Jacksonville, (832) 922-8956.

In the meantime, the family is looking forward to celebrating Evan's second birthday on May 11.

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  • by Ktown Location: Kinston on Jul 15, 2011 at 10:04 AM
    Finally....some good news!!!
  • by Anon Location: Washington on Jul 15, 2011 at 08:46 AM
    Such good news!
  • by Eastern NC J Location: Wilson on Jul 15, 2011 at 05:59 AM
    How refreshing to have some good news reported! Glad to see Evan is fighter. Carry on little soldier!
  • by Denise Location: Jacksonville on Apr 22, 2011 at 06:18 PM
    Call the number listed in the article and the message will give you an address to send donations.
  • by Observer on Apr 21, 2011 at 07:41 PM
    Where can we send donations to? I'd like to send diapers or whatever they need?
    • reply
      by shaylee on May 1, 2011 at 09:43 AM in reply to Observer
      so do i
  • by Anonymous on Apr 21, 2011 at 03:00 PM
    Prayers to Evan for a full recovery and a speedy one. Prayers of strength to his family as well, while they await his recovery.......
    • reply
      by shaylee on May 1, 2011 at 09:43 AM in reply to
      me 2
  • by Sue Location: Bethalto, IL on Apr 20, 2011 at 05:05 PM
    Praying for a full recovery for Evan! He and his Mom lived with my daughter in law for a short time while their husbands were deployed. I thank our Father God that Even is healing quickly!
  • by Christina Location: Alexandria, VA on Apr 20, 2011 at 09:47 AM
    Anonymous - Yes, you move from Critical -> Serious -> Fair -> Good. That's the basic movement, Serious is a huge step considering the amount of injuries Evan sustained. Children heal quickly though his injuries make it quite remarkable that he's moved out of Critical so fast. The family has been in my thoughts. I grew up a Marine Brat so Evan being a Navy Brat has made me keep an especially close eye on his progress. Best of luck to the family and all the others affected by this devastating storm.
    • reply
      by Thanks Christina on Apr 27, 2011 at 12:36 PM in reply to Christina
      Now maybe folks won't have to ask about upgrades to conditions.
  • by Amber Location: Rota, Spain on Apr 20, 2011 at 07:58 AM
    This story really touched me and ever since I first heard about it have been collecting items from others here at Naval Station Rota to mail out this weekend for the family! Praying for them everyday!!!!
  • by The Original ENC Location: enc on Apr 20, 2011 at 06:40 AM
    Praying for a full recovery!
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