Nathan Woessner, boy buried by Mt. Baldy sand dune, begins 1st grade

August 19, 2013 4:29:59 PM PDT
Nathan Woessner is a survivor. A month ago, he was trapped under 11 feet of sand in Indiana for more than three hours.

And on Monday, he headed back to school after weeks of rehabilitation and recovery.

The 6-year-old and his parents spoke with ABC7's Evelyn Holmes about his first day of school, how their son is feeling and his incredible recovery. Nathan Woessner looks like any other 6-year old as he plays with his brothers and sister and other kids at the park after his first day of school.

"He seems to be his normal go-lucky self and running around playing and doing all the stuff he does," said Faith Woessner, Nathan's mother.

On Monday, the shy but energetic boy who was buried under 11 feet of sand for more than three hours had a first day in class as a first grader.

"What was your favorite thing today?" asks Greg Woessner, Nathan's father.

"Um, getting to play outside," said Nathan.

It's been just over a month since Nathan was rescued from Mount Baldy at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. After spending several days in the hospital, Nathan made a miraculous recovery and returned to his Sterling, Illinois home.

Nathan's parents say he's completely healed. His principal agrees.

"Nathan, he looks good, acting great, fitting in with first grade students just the way he should be," said Chris Pulister, Nathan's principal.

The Woessners say at first, Nathan didn't remember a lot about what happened to him, but that's changing.

"He's asking a little more questions here and there and we're sharing little bit by little every chance we get," said Greg Woessner. "He doesn't know the catastrophics of the whole situation, but he does know he was buried in the sand and for a long period of time."

So as they look to the future, this mother and father say their son Nathan is an incredible reminder to appreciate the little things, even if it's just sitting together on a park bench.

"The picture is fulfilled. There are no gaps. It is very nice to have and hold everyone here together," said Greg Woessner.

After a few follow-up check-ups, it appears Nathan has made a full recovery. That's just in time for an August 28 ceremony, where the Governor of Indiana will honor the Michigan City, Indiana emergency personnel who rescued Nathan.

Nathan and his parents plan to attend as they continue to thank those men and women for their heroic actions.


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