'Tornado Toddler' Angel Babcock passes away

NEED TO KNOW
  • NEW: Memorial for girl will reportedly be private
  • Last moments: Grandmother sung 'Itsy-Bitsy Spider'
  • Donations to funeral fund being accepted
  • Bodies of her mother, father, big brother and little sister were found nearby

Two days after being found alone and badly injured in a tornado-struck Indiana field, 14-month-old Angel Babcock died after her surviving family made the decision to remove her from life support.

On Monday, a memorial was planned for the girl who gave storm victims a glimmer of hope and had come to symbolize a town's resilience. While early reports said it would be a public event, the Louisville Courier-Journal said the family has requested that their privacy be respected.

"Please tell everyone that we are very grateful for all of their thoughts and prayers, but that the service is only for family and close friends," a relative told the Courier-Journal on Monday. The family lost five members from the weekend storms.

When a tornado ripped through several small towns, including New Pekin and Salem, Angel was tossed dozens of feet from her home, as were several family members. Many of them died on the scene. But not Angel. She was discovered Saturday and rushed to the hospital. At the time no one knew her name or where her family was.

'Severe head and neck injuries'

Suffering from "severe head and neck injuries," the critically injured child spent the next couple days trying to recover, according to Kosair Children's Hospital's chief nursing officer Cis Gruebbel.

Her mother, father, older brother and little sister were all killed by the storm that carried her away from her home.

There was a chance of hope when she opened her eyes briefly on Sunday, but HLN affiliate WXYZ reports that her brain was swelling and there wasn't anything left for doctors to do. Angel succumbed to her injuries soon thereafter.

She did not die alone. "I had my arm around her when she took her last breath," her grandmother, Kathy Babcock told ABC News. "I sang to her 'Itsy-Bitsy Spider."

"They told us they had done everything they could do for her and that her brain was no longer functioning," Jack Brough, the girl's maternal grandfather, told the Courier-Journal. "it's one of the hardest decisions we've ever had to make, but we didn't want her to suffer anymore. It is time for her to be reunited with her parents and her brother and sister."

The Babcocks did not have insurance, so a fund has been set up to help with funeral costs. If you would like to contribute, you can make a donation to "The Babcock Family Fund" at any Bank of America location.

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