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Grateful Va. Tech Parents Hail Doctors

Montgomery Regional Hospital became the epicenter for treating surviving victims of the Virginia Tech gunman.

Most of them, 17 in all, were taken to the Blacksburg, Va., facility, reports CBS News correspondent Kelly Wallace.

Now, their families are speaking publicly for the first time about how, in some cases, doctors there saved their children's lives.

The parents are being lavish in their praise.

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"We are just thankful, we are just so thankful," a teary Suzanne Grimes told reporters as her husband, Randy Sterne, sat next to her, also crying.

Their son, Kevin Sterne, is the one in the now-famous photo of a victim, legs bloodied, being carried by police from the shooting scene. He'd been shot twice in a leg.

Doctors say Kevin, an Eagle Scout, tied a wire chord around his leg to stop his bleeding.

"Without him taking care of himself initially," says Dr. David Stoeckle, chief of surgery at Montgomery Regional, "and then the emergency technicians putting (a tourniquet) on his leg, I think there's a good chance he would have died."

An emotional Suzanne Grimes said, "(Kevin is) doing very well, and it was because of the care he got here; he just was in the right place at the right time.

"It's mixed emotions, because there are people, their children," she starts to cry, "so we're blessed."


Click here for an interactive gallery of the victims.

For his part, Stoeckle salutes police and emergency technicians for telling the hospital what to expect.

"They did an incredible job of keeping us informed," Stoeckle said, "what was even on our way to the hospital, so we knew what was going to hit the emergency room, even before it hit it."

Added emergency room physician Holly Wheeling, "They would triage out in the field how severe, so we knew exactly how serious each one coming in was felt to be."

Doctors at the hospital say they do disaster drills twice a year, but nothing like this is ever supposed to happen in Blacksburg.

"Me, emotionally, I couldn't sleep," Stoeckle said. "I feel for these students, I know some of them."

As for Kevin, he's already eating French fries, and hoping to get out of the hospital soon.

Another wounded student recovering at Montgomery Regional, Caitlin Carney, still planned on being the maid of honor at her sister's wedding over the weekend, despite having a severely injured hand, Wallace noted. And, to make sure she doesn't feel out of place, Carney's parents say all the wedding guests will wear white gloves on their left hands.

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