June 22, 2005
It's a miraculous story. After four long nights alone in the Utah wilderness, Boy Scout Brennan Hawkins woke up in his own bed this morning. His parents spoke about the ordeal and how their son is doing.
On the front lawn of their bountiful, Utah home, the parents of 11-year-old Brennan Hawkins talked openly about their brave little son, who was still inside sleeping.
They also said that after days with no sign of their boy, they were prepared for the worst.
"So when I was going into the sheriff car, I knew they were going to tell me Brennan was no longer with me and I collapsed before I could get into the truck, then they put me in the truck and then they told me he was still alive and he was in good shape. My brain still cannot comprehend that," said Jody Hawkins, Brennan's mother.
Alone for four nights without food or water, Brennan coped in the wilderness 100 miles east of Salt Lake City.
" I said 'once you realized that you were lost, what did you do?' and he paused for a minute and he said 'let me think,' and then he said that he said a prayer,'" shared Brennan's father Toby Hawkins.
Brennan defied all conventional wisdom. Instead of taking the path of least resistance, he actually climbed 600 feet higher and more than five miles away from where his friends were camping.
"He knew two things: stay on the trail and stay away from strangers," said the boy's mother.
Brennan obeyed those lessons so carefully that when rescuers were nearby he hid from them because he was scared and probably also a little delirious from dehydration.
Eventually he was found by a 43-year-old housepainter on an ATV, searching on his own. Not only Brennan's prayers, but the prayers of this close-knit religious community have been answered.
No tragedy here, just a relieved, grateful family and a very lucky and strong little boy.
Brennan's mom also reminded everyone this afternoon that the heavens are not closed--prayers and answers from children do come home.