The Parents Who Lost 3 Children In A Car Accident Then Had Triplets | The Oprah Winfrey Show | OWN

The Parents Who Lost 3 Children In A Car Accident Then Had Triplets | The Oprah Winfrey Show | OWN


If there is one thing we have
learned over the past 25 years, it is that life can
change in an instant. In the amount of time it
takes to replace a light bulb, to put on your lipstick,
to get your mail, it can happen just that fast. Nobody knows that better
than Lori and Chris Coble. What happened to them
has us all shaking our heads in utter disbelief. It is a story of imaginable
loss, unbelievable courage, and an undeniable miracle. A twist of fate that will make
the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It starts with the worst
day of their lives. We knew when we first got
married that we definitely wanted kids right away. Well, we were definitely a– I think best described as
a goofy, fun-loving family. And there was plenty of dancing
and silliness and laughing. And I think we just liked
to have a lot of fun. LORI: Oh, here’s your crazy
sister coming to do it, too. It was the day after
Kyle’s birthday. My mom was with us that day. And we wanted to go somewhere
and do something fun. We decided to go
to a local shopping center that had a Ferris wheel. And Kyle wanted to go
on the Ferris wheel. We went on the merry-go-round,
went to the pet store. Everything the kids loved to do. It was getting pretty
close to nap time. And the kids kind of
starting to get tired. So we packed the car
up, got on the freeway, and started to head home. While we were driving
home, Emma and Katie were watching a movie on TV. And Kyle was playing
with a new Nintendo DS he just got for his birthday. After 10 minutes
being in the car, I was stuck, stopped in traffic. And I turned around
to check on the kids. And that’s when I noticed
that Katie was falling asleep. So I reached back and
I tickled her toes. And that was one of the
last things that I remember. A big rig truck, loaded
with 40,000 pounds of cargo, slammed into Lori’s minivan
at over 55 miles per hour. Lori was knocked unconscious. But her mother, Cindy,
who was also in the car, remembers everything. CINDY: All of a sudden,
all I could hear was metal bending and
crashing and crunching. And it was the worst sound
I’ve ever heard in my life. RICHARD: It was the most
horrific accident I’ve– I’ve ever seen. And it just happened so quick. Alls I could think
was, oh, my god. How are we going to get these
kids out of here as well? And I couldn’t. I couldn’t get them out. The next thing I
remember is waking up on the side of the freeway. OPRAH: Lori had a
severe concussion. Her mother, Cindy,
had broken ribs. They were taken to one hospital. In order to handle
all of the trauma, Kyle and Katie were
taken to another. And four-year-old
Emma went to a third. Chris was at work when he
received the devastating news. Doctors wouldn’t
tell him anything until he got to the hospital. I literally ran to the
emergency room at that point. They took me back
into a small room. And the doctor told me, I’m
sorry, but Katie has expired. A few more minutes went by. They told me there was
a call from the doctor from Saddleback Hospital. And I got on the phone. And the first thing I said was,
please tell me Emma is alive. And he said, I’m sorry,
but Emma has expired. So I just dropped the phone. I just couldn’t believe
that was happening. It’s almost like my world went
black at that point, you know? Emma was at a third hospital
30 to 40 minutes away from where we were. It was one of my own children. I couldn’t even make
it to that hospital with everything going on. OPRAH: Chris had to tell Lori
that Emma and Katie had died. LORI: I just remember screaming. And I didn’t know how I could be
alive and they could have died. And I asked about Kyle. They didn’t know if he
was going to make it. I didn’t want Kyle to be alone. I didn’t want him to be
scared when he woke up. OPRAH: Chris rushed to be with
Kyle, his only remaining child. And I could see Kyle on a
bed with lots of equipment around him. And he was laying there
with his eyes half open. I had some hope for a moment
that maybe he’ll survive. So the doctor talked to me and– and pulled me aside. His brain hadn’t been
receiving any oxygen and he wasn’t coming back. They suggested to
stop life support. So we decided to get
Lori transported, so we could say goodbye
together to Kyle. I got to hold his hand and talk
to him, spend time with him, tell him I’m sorry
this happened. Wish I could go in his place. Wish I could change things. Brushing his hair back
and holding his hand. His eyes were open. And I thought he was alive. I thought they were all wrong. She was climbing
out of the wheelchair as best she can to hug Kyle. And saying, he’s got to go
be with his sisters now. His sisters are waiting for him. And so we stopped life support. The machines went dark. The room went dark. And I, uh, held my
hand on his chest. And– until his heart
stopped beating. He was gone. Well, it’s obviously very
difficult for Chris and Lori to share their story. But I have to believe that they
will inspire everybody watching today and help us all
understand that it is possible, no matter what you
are facing right now, somehow you can
keep going and put one foot in front of the other. Thank you both for
being here today. How were you even able
to breathe after that? I mean, how– I’m sure that there was a
period of complete numbness, where you were just
walking through your life. Yes. I think I was numb for– for months
afterwards, for years. I’m still numb at times. OPRAH: This was three– LORI: 3 and 1/2 years ago. 3 and 1/2 years ago. It was hard to get up
to do your daily routines, to even take a shower. You somehow just do it. We did it for them. But we, you know– you’re obviously in shock
for weeks, in disbelief. And denial would be the most
descriptive word, probably. OPRAH: Yeah. Because when you
wake up, you still can’t believe that it happened. You’re hoping that
it was a nightmare. CHRIS: Yeah. The worst nightmare
you ever had. Every morning,
you just wake up. And you were happy to be asleep,
just for some period of time, so you could get away from
the crushing feeling of grief. We wanted to tell the Cobles’
heart-wrenching story today not just so that we could
be voyeurs in their lives, but because of their
strength and their ability to keep standing,
to actually get up and put one foot in front
of the other every day. As we go to break, Chris and
Lori share some tender memories of Kyle, of Emma, and of Katie. LORI: Kyle was an amazing kid. Loved life, he was outgoing. He had lots of friends. He was just very unique. He was an angel. CHRIS: My fondest
memories of Emma were the adventurous
side of her. She was independent and
brave and fun-loving. LORI: She had a
unique personality. She loved to dance. Emma was always bouncing around. CHRIS: Katie was
our little handful. She was the youngest, of course. She was very outgoing and loud. And she would dress
up as a princess. And she’d put on her
crown and her shoes and dance on this little mat. Hi, Daddy! When, you know, you’d
come in the front door and three children are
sprinting to get to you first, I’d have to open my arms big and
catch everybody at full speed and give everyone kisses. So that was the best
part of coming home. OPRAH: You spent a
lot of time, I know, thinking about the
reason you survived. I think the reason I survived
was to stay here with Chris. I believe that he couldn’t
have made it alone. And I think that I survived so
we could continue our family. OPRAH: So three months
after the accident, Lori and Chris decided to
try to have more children. So first, tell us about
making that decision. I think that was the
easy decision to make. I think we had so much
fun with the kids, the kids would want
us to be happy again. They’d want us to
have more children. That seemed, like, very simple. Yeah. We always described ourself as– at that point– parents
without children. I mean, when you have
three children that young, your whole lives are
dedicated to them. And you love it. So what happened next
is, I think, a miracle. Almost one year to the
day after the tragic loss of their children– Kyle, Katie, and Emma– Lori gave birth
again to triplets. But not just triplets. Two girls and a boy. Doesn’t that give
you goose bumps? We are thrilled to introduce
you to 2 and 1/2 year old Ashley, Ellie, and Jake. [APPLAUSE] Ashley, Ellie, and Jake. Ashley, Ellie, and Jake. Hi, guys. Hi. Can you say hi, Jake? Hi. 2 and 1/2, you get
whatever you can. You get whatever you can. So do you consider
it a miracle also? Yes, definitely. Definitely a miracle. OPRAH: I mean, really. Triplets. A boy and two girls. You probably want the
back story, don’t you? A little story. What– what happened here? Well, we had decided
we were done having children prior to the accident. So we had to do– Daddy? We had to do in– Daddy? We had do in vitro
for medical reasons. OPRAH: Yes. And we found out that it
was two girls and a boy. We took that as a
sign from above. And we put them– we put all back in. And almost, you know, nine
months later, they were born. OPRAH: Unbelievable. Do you think–
you know, I always say that when somebody
you love dies, it feels like the spirit of
them is like an angel you know. I heard you describing, you
know, Kyle as a little angel. Do you feel the spirit of
them through these children. Definitely. We see their little
personalities. And definitely by their looks. Hi. Say hi to Oprah. OPRAH: Hi, Ellie. Hi. Definitely by their looks, yes. Their looks,
their personalities, their mannerisms. They have fun together. Yeah, it’s great. It brings a smile to our face
to see that little part of Kyle, Emma, and Katie come back. OPRAH: A little part of them. Now, have you– have you
already started talking to them about Kyle and Katie and Emma? Yes.
Yes. They know that they
have two sisters and a brother in heaven. And we go to the cemetery
and we have picnics. OPRAH: Really? As much of a picnic that a
2 and 1/2 year old can have. OPRAH: Yes, as much
as that can be. Yes. But yeah, I guess
my question is, you will integrate the
lives of your children who are no longer here– Of course. –with this? Because they still are
a part of this family. Of course.
Of course. OPRAH: And the reason for
these children’s lives. They will grow up
with this knowledge. I mean, we have all the pictures
up on the walls in our house, still, of Kyle, Emma, and Katie. And we look at them
everyday with them. And so they definitely will
be part of their lives, knowledge of them. OPRAH: Be part of their lives. That’s amazing. So tell us about
their middle names. LORI: The triplets have
the same middle names as Kyle, Emma, and Katie. OPRAH: So you– they carry
a little piece of them. LORI: They do.
– Yeah. LORI: They do. They’ll never be
able to know them, but they will know
them through us. A miracle, don’t you think? A miracle.

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