After the Storm: Boy who survived storm continues to heal - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

After the Storm: Boy who survived storm continues to heal

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When Channel 3 first met Andrew Ellis he could look his mom Wendy in the eyes.

Today he towers over her at six feet tall. He's grown in more ways than one.

"I still have scars, but emotionally I'm really healed from it," Andrew told Channel 3. "I mean, it's still emotional, but you know, it's just part of everyday life now."

READ MORE | After the Storm: Remembering those who passed away

Andrew was at his grandmother's home on Clonts road in Apison when a tornado with wind speeds of 190 miles per hour touched down.

"I went to the bathtub, got in the bathtub," he recalled. "My Nannie got in the bathtub on top of me and then we were thrown out of the house."

Andrew was the only survivor, found some 500 feet from the concrete slab where his grandmother's mobile home once stood.

His grandmother Brenda Prescott, great-grandmother JoAnn Darnell, cousin Joshua Poe and brother Adam Carroll died that day.

Their names are now included on a permanent memorial.

"They're gone," said Andrew, "but I'm glad the way that they went that they didn't suffer."

For years Andrew didn't like to talk about that day, but counseling has helped as much as the physical therapy he's received.

"They gave me a 50/50 percent chance of living," said Andrew. "I recovered from all that and made it back for the first day of school like I told my parents I would."

With four surgeries behind him, Andrew is concentrating on what's ahead. He's sure of one thing, he survived for a reason -- to share this with others, "I survived something really horrific, so you can get through mostly anything if I can."


Injured 8 year-old storm victim returns home

"It doesn't get better, you just accept it."

Andrew Ellis: CMN Tennessee Champion

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