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Boy Trapped Under Sand Dune Visits Church After Recovery

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Nathan Woessner, 6, at his family's church in Galva, Ill., more than two weeks after he was trapped under a sand dune in northwest Indiana. (Credit: CBS)

Nathan Woessner, 6, at his family’s church in Galva, Ill., more than two weeks after he was trapped under a sand dune in northwest Indiana. (Credit: CBS)

GALVA, Ill. (CBS) – The 6-year-old boy who was trapped under a sand dune for more than three hours earlier this month made his first public appearance since his life-and-death ordeal.

CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports Nathan Woessner was buried under 11 feet of sand on Mount Baldy, at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on July 12. He was hospitalized for nearly two weeks, and spent another two days at a rehabilitation center, before going home on Friday.

Nathan and his parents went to church in Galva, Ill., on Sunday, the first time Nathan was seen in public since he was buried alive.

Afterward, his parents spoke about his rescue and recovery.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that God was with Nathan, and God took care of Nathan, and God Brought Nathan back to us,” Faith Woessner said.

Nathan spent more than three hours trapped under 11 feet of sand on Mount Baldy before rescuers could pull him out on the night of July 12. It’s a day his parents will never forget.

“My mind was going 100 miles an hour,” Faith Woessner said. “I just remember being so scared.”

Now, she’s grateful Nathan doesn’t remember what happened.

“He doesn’t remember anything. I can’t imagine … remembering those feelings that he was feeling down in the hole. I don’t want him to remember that,” she said.

Nathan apparently survived because of an air pocket in the sand. He was treated at the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s hospital, for critical injuries to his lungs after inhaling sand.

He was released last week, after a recovery that amazed his father, Greg Woessner.

“To be where we are, after only two weeks, is phenomenal,” Greg Woessner said.

Nathan was in church on Sunday with his thankful parents.

“Thankful that we have Nathan back whole, and our family is complete. We’re just happy,” Faith Woessner said.

Nathan is expected to make a full recovery, with the exception of some continuing lung problems.

Meantime, experts have been studying what can be done to prevent anything like this from happening again.

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