Two Oklahoma teens are lucky to be alive today after they survived a tornado while visiting a Whataburger in Tulsa, Okla.
Sydney Verner and Kaitlyn Gardner had just finished eating when a storm hit without warning.
"The door flew open. The lights flickered and then, we were in mid-air to get on the ground, and the windows just shattered," Verner told KJRH.
The force of the tornado lifted the girls airborne, and threw Verner across the floor. To protect her friend, Gardner physically laid on top of her in an effort to stop the raging winds from picking her up again.
"I think that's why my body is so sore because I was literally not holding onto anything but her and holding us down on the ground," Gardner told the station.
It wasn't until after the fury of the storm calmed that Verner realized she had been hurt. A piece of metal went into her back, miraculously missing vital organs and her spinal cord. Doctors expect her to make a full recovery. Despite her heroic efforts, Gardner did not sustain any injuries during the storm.
The tornado caused the Whataburger such extensive damage that the city of Tulsa condemned the building.
Oklahoma is in the center of what meteorologists refer to as "tornado alley". It is an area of the country where tornados frequently occur.