03/06/2012 01:31 pm ET

7 Incredible Survivor Stories From The Midwest Tornado

The deadly tornadoes that swept across the South and Midwest last week left 39 dead and thousands homeless. Towns were demolished and families were ripped apart.

As victims of the massive storms begin to piece their lives and homes back together, inspiring stories of survival and heroism have begun to emerge -- stories of hope, love, unshakeable courage, and pure luck.

From the mother who lost her legs to save her children to the 7-year-old boy who was sucked up by a twister but lived to tell the tale, these are the stories that give us hope in this time of deep tragedy. Take a look.