Teen Joplin survivor being called a 'walking miracle' - KCTV5

Teen Joplin survivor being called a 'walking miracle'

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Steven Weersing, 16, took one of his last rides around Children's Mercy Hospital before heading home. He's been at the hospital since May's Joplin tornado and doctors are calling him a walking miracle.

"I still have dreams about it sometimes," said Weersing. "I was hanging out of the car, then we landed. I guess a bus hit us, then I flew out and got sucked in."

Weersing's father describes when he first found his son after the twister tossed him from a car.

"That's the only way I could identify him. I couldn't recognize him when they said ‘is this your son?' I said ‘Let me see his right arm,'" said David Weersing.

On his right arm was a tattoo Weersing's father didn't want him to get but is now thankful for it.

Weersing was barely alive with broken bones, a head wound and an open chest wound. Surgeon Kimberley Gandy said, at one point, they could see Weersing's heart beating through his chest.

"There are few people could have come through like he did. He literally had a fungus that was eating away his chest wall, even when we didn't know about it. His body was fighting the wound. We were literally blown away," said Gandy.

The Joplin teen fought back over the months despite the fact that the odds appeared to be stacked against him. The rare skin condition he had has a 5 to 10 percent chance of survival.

"There were a lot of times when I didn't think I'd have my son. A lot of people say God is the only one who saved him. It's a miracle he made it through this," said David.

After months of hearing about the tornado and seeing the images of Joplin, Weersing was ready to see it himself.

"I just want to go back home and settle in, get back to normal," he said.

In the midst of tragedy, Weersing said good came out of it - it brought him closer to his family

"Now I realize that's my life," he said.

The family's home was not damaged in the storm. Meanwhile, doctors said Weersing will have a lot more hospital visits and therapy but they expect him to recover.

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