Rescuers found the other injured miner, whose name has not been publicly released, walking out along the underground tracks, Spratt said. The man was treated at a hospital and released within days. He has declined interview requests.
Also with Woods earlier that day was his 32-year-old son, Jeremy. Lilly said Jeremy Woods had left the area late in his shift to get some supplies he needed to complete his own work. Jeremy Woods was still inside the mine when the explosion occurred, but got out unhurt.
"He realized that when my dad was in there, that he tried to go back in and that men had to restrain him because he was going back in to get dad,'' Lilly said.
Jeremy Woods has talked little about the disaster, Lilly said, adding that he wouldn't be interviewed.
Massey Energy has come under fire since the explosion for its safety record, both at Upper Big Branch and in general. The company didn't respond to a request for comment on Woods' situation.
The elder Woods' relatives are just thankful for their blessings -- "I have my dad when the others don't,'' Lilly said -- and focusing on helping him get better.
It's his speech and memory that pose the biggest challenges. Progress is measured a few syllables at a time. Woods often speaks in a whisper and his sentences are short. Sometimes it's difficult for him to remember members of his own family, although he seems to light up when his grandchildren visit his room.
"That has been overwhelmingly like a sigh of relief, that he recognizes the kids,'' Lilly said.
Woods, who has lost more than 20 pounds, doesn't understand his surroundings. He especially disliked the almost daily three-hour hospital rehabilitation sessions that worked on improving his mind. He was recently transferred to a facility in North Carolina that specializes in such work.
Mainly, he just wants to go home. His family wants to see him playing golf and horseshoes and hunting turkey, deer and squirrel, serving as church deacon and choir member, playing jokes on his loved ones.
It could take up to a year and a half to determine if a full recovery is possible.
"There are so many 'what ifs' right now,'' Lilly said. "That is what's so hard.''