Injured 8-year-old storm victim returns home - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Injured 8-year-old storm victim returns home

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ROSSVILLE, GA (WRCB) -- When you ask eight-year-old Andrew Ellis if he is a "regular kid" like everyone else? His response is "Yeah, well no, because I survived a tornado."

Ellis was the only survivor after the deadly April 27th tornadoes claimed the lives of four of his family members.

Saturday he was joined by friends and family at his home.

His mother is still filled with mixed emotions, but overall, grateful.

Wendy Ellis said, "I'm so happy to have him here. But on the other hand, I knew what he was coming home to, as far as the emptiness."

Andrew has undergone four separate surgeries, three for his elbow, now in a cast, and one for a steel rod in his leg.

He spent four weeks at Children's Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia and two more weeks at T.C. Thompson.

Saturday, Andrew received a special visit from Life Force pilots.

It's a a dream, Andrew one day hopes to achieve.

His friend Tanner Poe, was rescued the day the tornadoes hit in a ditch.

He said today, was just as special for himself.

Poe said, "I can't thank God enough. I'm so glad I can see him. He reminds me so much of his brother the way he acts."

Andrew's medical bills have been quite costly to the family, in fact antibiotics can cost several hundred dollars.

Andrew's story of survival touched many, like Bill Lehmkuhl.

He held a fundraiser for the Ellis', bringing in about $500 to help cover bills.

"For someone to go through like this and survive, and to have the courage and stamina that this kid has, it just touched me. It is a God-given miracle," said Lehmkuhl.

A month and a half has passed since storms that claimed the lives of so many in the Tennessee Valley.

Wendy said the tragedy of losing her family, still weighs heavy on the mind.

"Every day, every day. I have my cry sessions still on a daily basis," said Ellis.

But she said Andrew's recovery has also given her strength.

She said he doesn't talk much about that day, but says Andrew will never forget.

He's also shown more appreciation, for those still here with him.

Ellis said, "There is not a day that goes by that I don't hear 10 to 12 times, 'I love you mom, I love you'."

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