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Pemiscot County, MO

Twins Born Amidst Tragedy

Twins Born Amidst Tragedy
By: CJ Cassidy

PEMISCOT COUNTY, Mo. --Where do you find the strength to go on, when you lose not one, but two of your children?  You'll remember we told you about a deadly fire in Pemiscot County a week and a half ago, that claimed the lives of two one-year-old twins.  Autopsy results showed Alexis and Bradley Johnson died of smoke inhalation.  Now, the twin's parents say they soon realized they had two altogether new reasons to stay strong.

"It was all a shock to me a dream. I wish somebody would wake me up," Deandra Miller says.

From nightmarish agony to incredible joy, Deandra and her common law husband Ryan Johnson have travelled the entire emotional spectrum, and all in less than two weeks.

It began when their 1-year old twins Bradley and Alexis died in a fire that destroyed their home.  "I was trying to get them, but I couldn't," Deandra says.

Despite their grief, the couple realized they had to stay strong for their four other small children.

Then there was the fact that 26-year-old Deandra, was eight months pregnant, but when she was admitted for injuries the night of the fire - doctors told her she was expecting twins. Again.  Deandra gave birth to two bouncing baby boys on Thursday.  The fratenal twins weighed in at a little over five pounds each and were born a minute apart.

"Everytime I look at them they're the ones that keep me going. They're just like Bradley and Alexis," Deandra sobs.

"We have lot to be thankful for; my wife survived the fire, but it's hard to understand why, and we'll never know why," Ryan Johnson says.

"They reminded me of my other two. They're so precious; I love them to death," Deandra says.

The Johnson family can't get enough of their new additions, but Bradley and Alexis are never far from their thoughts.  Deandra keeps a shiny locket with their pictures on it close to her heart, hoping time helps dull the pain she feels inside.

The family plans on staying with friends, because they have nowhere else to go.  If you would like to help, there is a trust set up for them at the Southern Missouri Bank in Poplar Bluff.

You can make checks payable to Naomi Cagle in trust for the Johnson family at the address below:

Southern Missouri Bank
P O Box 521
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901

You can also contact the Pemiscot County Sheriff's department at (573) 333-4101 for more information on how you can help this family.

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