Boy trapped under dune for 11 hours: inside his struggle for survival

(CBS News) Nathan Woessner started first grade last week -- an amazing fact considering that the little boy survived being buried alive for hours under an Indiana sand dune less than two months ago.

CBS News' Dean Reynolds recently spoke to Nathan and his family to talk about what he's been through.

By all appearances, 6-year-old Nathan is just a normal, precocious boy, proud of his playground moves. But less than two months ago, Nathan endured something stunning -- he was trapped 11 feet beneath the surface of a sand dune for more than three hours -- and survived.

Nathan's mom, Faith Woessner told CBS News she witnessed "God's miracle."

Faith and Greg Woessner recalled the harrowing search in the sand of the Indiana dunes when, on a camping vacation, Nathan simply vanished into a stovepipe sinkhole as he walked alongside his friend 8-year-old Colin Karrow.

Faith Woessner said, "When Colin came down the hill, I'll never forget the look on his face and the sound of his voice. I knew something was very, very wrong."

"There was a sense of calmness over me that kept me focused on exactly what needed to be done," Greg Woessner added.

One by one, friends, strangers, park rangers and heavy equipment operators joined the dig. The coroner was there as well. Greg Woessner said, "We were prepared for the worst. ... One way or another he was coming home with us."

The Woesnners had left the site and were at a nearby police station when word came that the boy had been found and was in the hospital -- and breathing. They rushed to his side. Faith Woessner said, "Just being there with him and touching him and feeling him and kissing him. That's all I wanted to do was just touch him and hold him."

His recovery has been nothing short of amazing. Faith Woesnner said, "He's exactly the same as he was before."

For a kid whose lungs were clogged with sand, a slight cough is the only remnant of respiratory damage, and that too, is receding.

Faith Woesnner said, "Many, many nights I lie awake thinking, praying and thanking God for what he did for our family."

So will the family go back to the beach? At the same time, Greg Woessner answered that question with a "yes" -- and Faith Woessner with a "no."

Nathan and his family will go back to Indiana on Wednesday to meet the rescuers who saved his life and the medical team that helped him recover.

Watch Dean Reynolds' full report above.