Ozark County Ambulance EMT's young wife was 'an amazing' mom
Thayer resident Capri Turner was eagerly awaiting the phone call Tuesday night, Jan. 12, that would let her know her best friend, Amanda Warren, had given birth to her third child. But when Amanda’s husband, Dustin Warren, called late that night, it was not the joyous announcement Capri had been expecting. Instead, it was devastating news.
Dustin, who works as an EMT with the Ozark County Ambulance District, told Capri the baby, Emersyn Reese Warren, was born healthy at Ozarks Healthcare (formerly Ozarks Medical Center) in West Plains. But Amanda, 31, had died due to complications associated with Emersyn’s birth.
Capri and Amanda had been friends since their days at Thayer High School, where both graduated in 2008. Amanda grew up in Thayer but also attended school in Bakersfield during her younger years, said Capri, now a preschool teacher in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas.
Dustin works for the Gainesville-based ambulance district, but the couple made their home in West Plains, where Amanda was enrolled at Missouri State University. A few years ago, she’d also held an administrative job in the Ozarks Healthcare (formerly Ozarks Medical Center) emergency room.
The young mom had a lot going on in her life. Besides mothering two young girls and completing her college studies, she was preparing for the Warrens’ third child. And in addition to all that, the family was in the midst of moving.
“They were between houses,” Capri said, explaining that, after selling their old house, the couple and their two young girls, Isabella and Kadynce, were living in a temporary home while getting their new house ready for move-in.
Amanda was “an amazing mom,” Capri said. “She was always doing crafts with her girls, and she always made sure they were doing little community service projects.”
At Christmastime, Amanda and the girls “adopted” residents of a West Plains nursing home and made Christmas ornaments and Christmas cards for them.
For fun, Amanda staged daily “dance parties” with her girls in the living room, said Capri, who has a little boy. “She was the best mom, always had them outside playing hard. She loved baking with them. . . . She was so active with them. She taught the girls to love Jesus, and they loved singing praise and worship songs.”
Capri wasn’t aware of any health fears related to Amanda’s pregnancy. “She’d had some blood pressure issues with all three pregnancies. But it was managed, and she was excited about having another baby,” Capri said.
Amanda’s due date was Jan. 20, but she was induced to deliver the baby on Jan. 12.
“I talked to her about seven that night,” Capri said. “We Facetimed a little. She was in the hospital, and everything was moving along. She talked about her girls, and we were making bets on what time and how big the baby was going to be.”
Then, a few hours later, Dustin called with the heartbreaking news that Amanda had passed away. It seemed incomprehensible, Capri said.
Dustin’s parents live in Alton. Amanda’s brother, James Albritton, and his wife, Leanne, live in Thayer. Another brother, Nicholas Voegeli, and his wife live in Florida. Amanda’s mother is deceased; her father and stepmother, Steven and Mary Jane Voegeli, live in Alabama.
In Gainesville, Ozark County Ambulance District administrator Stacy Raney has set up the Amanda Warren Memorial Fund at Century Bank of the Ozarks. Donations to that fund may be dropped off at any Century Bank branch or mailed to the bank at P.O. Box 68, Gainesville, MO 65655. Checks may also be dropped off at the Douglas Hawkins Insurance office in Gainesville (Hawkins is vice president of the OCAD board) or mailed to the ambulance district at P.O. Box 354, Gainesville, MO 65655.
“Dustin’s doing well, considering,” Capri said Monday night. “He’s got three little girls he’s got to be strong for.”