Boy's Condition Upgraded After Sand Dune Fall

6-year-old boy trapped in sand for more than three hours after falling into a sinkhole

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Nathan Woessner was trapped in a sand dune for hours before crews were able to rescue him.

    A 6-year-old boy buried for three hours under sand at the Indiana Dunes is slowly seeing his medical condition improve, doctors said Thursday.

    “Nathan Woessner has been upgraded from critical and is now in serious condition," Dr. Rachel Wolfson said. "He has been extubated, is recovering from sedation and continues to respond to command."

    Woessner fell into a sinkhole sometime after 4 p.m. July 12 at Mt. Baldy in Michigan City, Ind.

    Woessner's grandfather, Pastor Don Reul, said the boy was walking to the top of the popular dune with his dad, an adult friend of the family and another boy when he fell.

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    A 6-year-old boy buried for hours under sand at the Indiana Dunes is moving his arms and legs, doctors said. The medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit at the University of Chicago Medicine told reporters Nathan Woessner is under sedation and is breathing with a ventilator until his lungs can fully function. The breathing tube could be removed by the end of the week, Dr. Tracy Koogler said, and he'll likey be released from the hospital in 10-14 days. "He was breathing at some level on his own when he was found," Koogler said. "I expected him to arrive much sicker than he did." Woessner spent three-and-a-half hours trapped in the sand Friday night and remains in critical condition at Comer Children's Hospital. Hospital spokesman John Easton said the boy is breathing with a ventilator. The boy fell inside a sinkhole sometime after 4 p.m. Friday at Mt. Baldy in Michigan City, Ind.

    "They immediately went back, and he was nowhere to be seen," Reul said. "The ground had swallowed him up."

    Doctors said Monday they expect the boy to be released from the hospital within 10 to 14 days. His condition had been listed as critical before Thursday.

    The Mount Baldy area at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore will remain closed indefinitely following the accident.