By Andrea Lucia

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PLANO (CBS 11) — They are lifesavers — quite literally.

On the night of Dec. 26, the emergency staff of the Medical Center of Plano saw their skills and stamina tested by a tornado that struck less than 20 miles away.

Twelve victims arrived by ambulance, many of them seriously injured after the twister swept over I-30.

“Cars are designed very well nowadays,” said Dr. John Saad, one of the physicians on duty. “They’re designed for accidents and to keep people from getting hurt. They’re not designed to be picked up off of an overpass and thrown down.”

Several nurses scheduled to finish a 12-hour shift at 7 that night stayed late, allowing the ER to accept more patients with critical needs.

In the aftermath of a natural disaster, it wasn’t just physical injuries patients needed help with. Nurse Sharon Wach recalled a patient eager to speak to his mother.

Wach picked up her personal cell phone, dialed her and placed the phone to her patient’s ear.

“Mom came down the weekend after to thank me for doing that. That’ll keep me in the ER for a couple more years,” Wach said.

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