BRIDGEPORT, Ill. -- Eli Evans doesn't dwell on the horrific violence that surrounded his birth 16 years ago.
He has known the unfathomable details for years since he and his older brother came to live with their grandfather in this rural southeastern Illinois community. Sam Evans still encourages the boys to come to him whenever they feel the need to discuss what happened.
"I always think God has a plan for me since he kept me here," Eli said. "I was put on this earth for a reason, and I'm still trying to figure out what the reason is. I know it's going to be something good because not many people could have survived what I did."
Elijah "Eli" James Evans, who cherishes his brother, Jordan, and grandfather, seems to be thriving now as a high school football player who dreams of an NFL career. He is keenly aware that the story of his birth shocked the nation.