MOORE, Okla. (KFOR) – May 2013 is a month many Oklahomans will not soon forget. The May 20th Moore tornado and the May 31st El Reno tornado combined caused dozens of deaths, hundreds of injuries and billions of dollars in damage.

As the 10-year anniversary approaches, KFOR is bringing you a special series of reports as we remember those lost on May 20 and May 31, 2013, as well as reflect on what we’ve learned in the decade since.

Terri Long, Megan Futrell and Case Futrell lost their lives in the 7-Eleven at SW 4th St. and Telephone Rd. on May 20, 2013.

Expert analysis confirms the tornado made a loop on top of the small convenience store where a handful of people were taking cover.

E.H. Pittman and Edith Morales were among those buried alive, trapped by the mass of twisted metal, soaked in soda, gasoline and sorrow.

They were also some of the most seriously injured survivors that day.

Morales spent 125 days in the hospital.

Her spine severed, six vertebrae splintered, right lung collapsed, both hands crushed. Every bone in her face was broken.

“I’m sorry they didn’t make it. I’m surprised I did. There’s been times I didn’t think I was going to make it,” Morales told KFOR in 2013.

She has endured 10 years of surgeries and still gets headaches triggered by pieces of debris still embedded in her skin.

“They could still see a lot of debris. And I can literally feel it when I touch my head in places,” Morales said in 2018.

But for all the pain and suffering, there has also been joy.

“Everything brings me joy because I just feel blessed to get up every day,” said Morales.

Edith has seven grandkids now and they are her whole world.

“Thank you first to Jesus and the love of my family,” said Morales. “There was days and days and days I didn’t think I’d live, and they’d be right there.”

They are the reason she fights for her life.

It’s probably a blessing that Morales remembers almost nothing from her rescue at the 7-Eleven.

But another survivor, EH Pittman remembers every terrifying moment from May 20, 2013.

“I was working part time at 7-Eleven. Customers were coming in, hunkering down from the hailstorm and everything,” recalled Pittman. “I remember looking up, seeing the roof come off. I remember pushing bricks and everything off my head.”

Rescued by strangers, Pittman took his last steps right there at the crumpled remains.

“I stood up and took a few steps and then sat down. I said ‘I can’t feel my legs.’ And that was the last time I stood,” said Pittman in 2013.

The Army Guardsman with the 45th Infantry Brigade and father of two was paralyzed from the waist down.

“Since May 2013, a lot of depression, [there’s] been a few good friends that stuck around,” said Pittman.

Pittman was medically discharged in 2017.

“When I first met him, I couldn’t get him out of the house. I remember that much,” said Lee Maples, Pittman’s friend and fellow veteran. “It’s like being a racehorse put out to pasture in your prime. I understand how that feels.”

Healing through helping others, Pittman is active with several wounded warrior organizations.

“I was in the dark place and he got me out of the house and got me out of that dark hole,” said Pittman.

He has since found new hope in a gift from the VA hospital: a specialized track chair to traverse rough terrain so he can continue to hunt and fish with friends.

“I look at it now that everything is a new challenge. So whereas I may have been able to do something before, now, it’s I can still do it. I just do it differently,” said Pittman.

Pittman has high hopes he’ll be able to look his friends in the eye once again soon.

He plans to begin training at the VA on a standing wheelchair called an exoskeleton.

Unfortunately, that plan is on hold until he can replace his specially fitted, hand controlled truck that was damaged in severe weather last year.