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Published June 18, 2010, 11:04 PM

Woman Talks About Surviving Tornado Which Claimed Her Father's Life

In one of the storm's most tragic and touching stories... Heidi Michaels says her father Wes Michaels gave his life to save hers.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

Heidi Michaels was recovering from her injuries at Riverview hospital in Crookston Friday. She was hurt when a tornado hit the C-store gas station in Mentor Thursday night.

Concerned about Heidi that night her dad, Wes Michaels, who owned the business, came in on his 58th birthday to make sure every thing was okay. Heidi says a short while later the town's emergency siren went off.

"My dad went out side we looked," Heidi Michaels said, "and came running back inside and said it heading right towards us get into the cooler."

Heidi says when the power went out, they fell to the floor and 5 to 10 seconds later the tornado was gone.

"I called for my dad to come and save me get me out cause I was stuck and didn't realize he had already saved me because he was behind me," Heidi said as she fought back tears. "He took the brunt of the force."

Heidi called for help, neighbors arrived quickly but there was nothing that could be done to save Wes. Heidi says she is not surprised her father was there, because he has alway been there for her and her two sisters.

Heidi said, "He sacrificed his life. He is is the biggest hero, and I love him so much for doing that."

Heidi Michaels was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon. A customer in the store, Patricia Wilbur of Grand Forks, was still in serious condition at Altru hospital Friday night.