Boy Who Fell in Sand Dune Walking, Eating

Victim still in serious condition

Saturday, Jul 20, 2013  |  Updated 8:29 AM CDT
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Family of Boy Buried Under Sand Speaks

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Grandfather Describes Boy's Fall Into Indiana Sinkhole

Nathan Woessner, 6, remains in critical condition after he fell into a sinkhole Friday at the Indiana Dunes. His grandfather, Don Reul, tells reporters about the boy's fall and rescue.

Family of Boy Buried Under Sand Speaks

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.
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The news continues to get better for a 6-year-old boy who was buried for three hours under sand at the Indiana Dunes last week.

According to Dr. Rachel Wolfson of the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, Nathan Woessner is now able to get out of bed and walk with assistance, and is also eating for the first time. The boy remains in serious condition.

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.

"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.

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