SPECIAL REPORT: Ethan one year after bunker rescue - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

SPECIAL REPORT: Ethan one year after bunker rescue

WSFA 12 News sat down with Ethan and his older brother Camren to find out how the 6-year-old is a year later. WSFA 12 News sat down with Ethan and his older brother Camren to find out how the 6-year-old is a year later.

It's a story that shocked south Alabama and the country. A man jumped on a school bus, killed the driver and kidnapped a little boy holding him hostage in an underground bunker for six days.

Tuesday marked the one year anniversary of Ethan's rescue. For those six days while Ethan was held hostage underground, community members, family, and the nation paused and prayed for Ethan's safe return.

"It was all just tears of joy and happiness and relief," said Camren Kirkland, Ethan's older brother.

One year after little Ethan was rescued, the family is still counting its blessings. An answered prayer after six terrifying days of waiting. Older brother Camren remembers the pain of not knowing.

"I remember a lot of times we sat around in a church and we prayed and prayed and it was a scary thought. The first thing he said to me was hey Bubba and we just talked. He showed me his set of stickers. He was a happy kid, lots of smiles on his face," Camren said.

Ethan's a normal little boy who loves cars, bikes and playing outside. The family says Ethan is doing well. Loved ones are cherishing every moment with the active 6-year-old. That quality time is what Ethan enjoys most of all.

"We play baseball and play with guns," Ethan said when talking about interaction with his older brother.

For those who know him well, Ethan has changed tremendously and thankfully, all for the better.

"He has made remarkable changes, like he has done a 180. He used to have behavior issues and academic issues but those issues have been squared away," Camren said.

Camren says there doesn't appear to be any emotional scars. There have been four times his little brother has discussed being held hostage in a bunker and when he has recounted it, Ethan says the army came in and saved him from the bad guy. Doctors say Ethan doesn't suffer from flashbacks or terrors but for his family the memories remain.

"I've learned to really look at life a lot differently. I've learned the people in your life are the most important. Cherish every moment you have with them and don't take it for granted," Camren said.

Camren tells WSFA 12 News Ethan does have some future plans for himself. Ethan says he wants to become a race car driver or an aircraft mechanic. Ethan will celebrate his 7th birthday Thursday.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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