Nathan Woessner, boy buried under sand dune at Indiana Dunes, back at church after recovering

July 29, 2013 5:35:15 AM PDT
The boy buried under 11 feet of sand for more than three hours returned to his church Sunday for the first time since the incident.

ABC7 was the only Chicago station present when Nathan Woessner's parents talked about their son's recovery and thanked rescue workers.

Nathan Woessner looked like any other restless 6-year-old boy in a pew at church services Sunday morning, more evidence of his remarkable recovery. The Woessner family went to their church in Rock Falls, Illinois, about 110 miles west of Chicago.

From the rescuers to the doctors and nurses, Faith and Greg Woessner say they cannot thank them enough for saving their son Nathan. The 6-year-old's parents say their son is 100 percent healed and back to normal. The Woessners say their faith played a big role.

Getting antsy during church, Nathan Woessner is no different than many 6-year-old boys, except Nathan's parents say their son will grow as living proof miracles do happen.

"I remember the paramedic coming in and he said 'he's alive,' and I don't remember anything he said after that," said Nathan's mother, Faith Woessner. "Those were the sweetest words I've ever heard."

Those sweet words came after Nathan was buried in 11 feet of sand for four hours. It has been two weeks since that day, when the Woessners admit to fearing the worst as rescuers at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore looked for Nathan.

"The paramedic came in and we really did think he was gone and we were bracing ourselves for that," said Faith Woessner.

When Nathan was found alive, the next step was keeping him alive. After spending several days at University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, Nathan made a full recovery and was sent home to Sterling, Illinois last week.

"He's back -- he's 100 percent healed and back with us -- perfect," said Faith Woessner.

Sunday, his parents said they have a lot to be thankful for as they spent their morning in church, specifically thanking God for those who saved Nathan.

"They'll never know how much we appreciate what they did for us, they'll never know -- thank you," said Faith Woessner.

"There's no words to express the gratitude I have for every individual that was there," said Greg Woessner.

As they move forward, the Woessners say Nathan will always be a living reminder not to take simple things like going to church together for granted.

"Just to let him know how much strength he has actually given others and to never give up on that," said Nathan's father, Greg Woessner.

"You don't even realize how precious those little things are until you almost lose them," said Faith Woessner. "Just hold it dear."

The Woessners say Nathan remembers very little from the day on the beach. To avoid frightening him, Nathan's parents are telling him small amounts of details so he can digest the information slowly. As for his medical prognosis, besides a few follow-up appointments, Nathan has made a full recovery.


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