Helping Joplin


Sean Brady, Missouri S&T student. Photo by B.A. Rupert


Brady clears debris in Joplin. Photo provided

A father and son from Camdenton made three trips to twister-torn Joplin in the wake of the deadly EF-5 tornado that struck on May 22, 2011. Ric Brady and son Sean reached out to victims one at a time and used heavy equipment to touch the lives of dozens.
Sean Brady, a Camdenton High School grad who just finished his freshman year at Missouri S&T, couldn’t prepare himself for what he saw when he arrived in Joplin on the Monday morning after the Sunday night tornado plowed through the city. Brady noticed significant damage as his truck and trailer drew closer to the tornado touchdown site, but he was blown away by the indescribable damage along Rangeline Street.

Brady unloaded a Bobcat and proceeded to go house-by-house and street-by-street, offering to help anyone who needed it. He helped people by turning their cars right side up, removing trees and other debris, and moving other misplaced objects.

Never the same
Brady found an elderly man wandering aimlessly amidst the rubble of what used to be his home. The teenager asked the man how he could help. The man told Brady that he was diabetic and desperately needed his medication.
His medication and all of his money was in a chest of drawers that he could not find in the massive pile of debris. Brady spent more than an hour carefully moving debris in effort to find the man’s medication and money.
Finally, as he was going through the last fallen wall of the house, Brady saw the chest under a pile of bricks. After crawling under the debris, Sean retrieved the medication and the money and gave it to the man. The man hugged Sean and began to weep uncontrollably.

“I will never be the same,” Sean Brady said.
Story originally published in the Lake Sun, Camdenton, Mo., and on the web at The story is reprinted with permission from Lake Media Inc.


  1. Nancy Uri says

    You are wonderful!!!! Thank you so much for helping those in need. You will be blessed for all your efforts.

  2. Bryan Muehlberger says

    I’m proud to call Sean my brother-in-law!! What a great demonstration of going above and beyond and helping those who need it most! Keep it up!

  3. Rusty Shackleford says

    I feel the use of “blown away” was a little inappropriate for this article.

  4. Sara Whitbeck says

    I am both a MS&T alum and from Joplin, MO. Thank you so much to everyone making a difference in Joplin! If it weren’t for all the volunteers it would be years before we would even be to where we are now – one month after the storm and roughly 1/4 of the debris has been removed.

  5. Jose Cavazos-Intharaphet says

    Great Job! You are a wonderfull person for giving such effort to help an elder stranger.

  6. Nice work. I also do know two of my friends who had organized trips to joplin with the volunteers interested in helping out.

  7. Owen Meany says

    Finally a positive story! Great job!