LONG BEACH, Wash. -- A life and death drama unfolded on the Long Beach Peninsula late last week.
Photojournalist Damian Mulinix took pictures of a boy, Dale Osterander, being rescued on Friday.
Witnesses say Osterander, part of a Spanaway church youth group, had been caught in a riptide and spent 20 to 25 minutes in the water before rescuers found him.
Beachgoers said it appeared the boy had died, but paramedics managed to resuscitate him.
"It is a miracle and God still works miracles," said Chad Ostrander, Dale's father.
In one photo, it appears that other kids are praying during the rescue.
Osterander was transferred in a LifeFlight helicopter to Oregon Health and Science University, where he was placed in an induced coma as part of his treatment. Then, several days later, the boy was brought out of the coma and was breathing on his own and speaking full sentences, according to Mulinix.
"We were trying to get him to cough, and he coughed once, we were trying to get him to cough and he said 'I don't need to'," Dale's mother Kirsten said Tuesday.
"They never expected him to live," added Chad. "They expected him to be a vegetable, never walk, never talk, never say a word and that would've been fine."
Tim Minge, Associate Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church of Spanaway was in the room when Osterander opened his eyes for the first time. He said it was exciting to see an answer to a prayer.
A separate blog called "Prayers for Dale" was created to organize support for Osterander and his family. Minge said members of the church are taking turns going to Oregon so the family is not alone.
Damian Mulinix also works for the Chinook Observer.