Father, 10-year-old son get lots of love from community after tornado

A family that lost everything during last weekend’s tornado in Orlando is getting an outpouring of support after sharing their story on FOX 35 News.

Tom Cardinal was petrified when a tornado hit his home, especially since he had just moved here from Wichita, Kansas, and never dealt with a tornado there. The twister destroyed everything, even the bedroom set of his 10-year-old son, Tommy.

"It’s been a rough six months. I lost my wife to cancer in December," he said, fighting back teats. "It’s been tough."

Those tears of pain are now tears of joy as people have reached out to help the father and son.

"We’ve got beds, we’ve got dressers, furniture that will be able to help you furnish wherever you end up," said Stephanie Bowman, CEO of One Heart for Women and Children, "and they’ll be brand new beds! That’s the best part. Brand spanking new beds."

When Bowman heard what happened, it hit home, especially after learning that Tom’s wife died of cancer.

"It’s traumatic. I’ve been diagnosed. I’m going through chemo right now," she explained, adding that she just had to step in and help. "We’re helping with food, hygiene items, and clothing as well."

On Wednesday, Orlando resident Susie Maxwell treated Tommy to a shopping spree at Walmart. 

"I saw the story on your station, and my heart just melted. I felt so sorry for them." 

We asked little Tommy what he bought and he replied, "A bunch of clothes, shoes, some toys."

Even their Go Fund Me account has raised more than  $16,000.

"I’m blessed, very blessed," Cardinal said.

They're trying to rent a home in the same neighborhood, so Tommy won't have to change schools.