4-year-old Hattie Collins one of five children killed in the EF-4 tornado in Putnam Co.

Posted at 3:50 PM, Mar 05, 2020

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Five children including 4-year-old Hattie Collins died in the EF-4 tornado that ravaged the Putnam County area.

Matt, Macy, and baby Lainey are recovering at local hospitals. They’re in stable condition. Life without Hattie will be hard, but their family and church community will be there for them every step of the way.

Collegside Church of Christ Minister John Nichols visited Matt and Macy Thursday morning. Matt Collins is the youth minister at their church.

Nichols said, “They are some of the most remarkable people that I’ve ever met in my life and need all of our support, so anything that anybody can do, we would be profoundly grateful.”

A hole will be in this community’s heart forever, but hope will help them move forward.

“Without hope, we have very little,” Nichols said, “Hope doesn’t take away the present, but hope does see beyond it.”

The neighborhood in the Hensley Drive area is a pile of debris. When the EF-4 tornado hit, another church member rushed next door to help pull the Collins family out.

“It has been an incredible demonstration that we are all apart of something much bigger than ourselves,” Nichols said, “In the midst of everything they’re going through, every time I’ve seen them, they have asked about other people and how everybody else is doing.”

With faith and hope, this community will begin to heal.

Nichols said, “I really think that it’s in times like we’ve experienced here over the last several days, where hope can be born anew, and hope can be demonstrated in ways that can change everything.”

At this time, no funeral arrangements have been made for little Hattie. If you would like to help the family, they have a Go Fund Me page. Donations will go towards medical expenses, and building a new home.

Another member of Collegeside Church of Christ died during the tornado. She has been identified as Pat Lane. To help the church in relief efforts, you can donate on their website.