Boy Buried in Indiana Sand Dune Returns Home

Nathan Woessner was buried under 11 feet of sand for three hours

By Megan Purazrang
|  Monday, Jul 29, 2013  |  Updated 7:32 AM CDT
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Family of Boy Buried Under Sand Speaks

Tom Papandria, UChicago Medicine

Nathan Woessner is now listed in good condition.

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Buried Boy's Parents Speak to TODAY

Nathan Woessner's mom and dad shared their son's miraculous survival story after he was buried in the sand for hours. Nesita Kwan reports.

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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Nathan Woessner has returned home two weeks after he fell into a sinkhole and became trapped for hours at the Indiana Dunes.

The 6-year-old boy was discharged from La Rabida Children’s Hospital Friday morning after being transferred there last Tuesday from the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital.

"Nathan received rehabilitative care while at La Rabida, including physical, occupational and speech therapy," spokeswoman Marilyn Williams said. "He was seen for issues with balance, gait and memory. Nathan will return to La Rabida at a later date to continue rehabilitative work."

Williams said Woessner "has been doing well and is able to bathe himself, brush his own teeth and walk independently."

Woessner's condition was upgraded last week and he was transferred from Comer Children’s Hospital's intensive care unit to a general pediatric medicine unit.

“He is eating well, is active and continues to improve," Dr. Barrett Fromme said. "The staples used to close a laceration on the back of his head will be removed today."

In a home video sent to NBC's "Today" Show over the weekend, Woessner said the best part of being home is seeing his family.

Woessner's parents told the "Today" show last week their son has been getting up, moving around and even made a trip down the hall at Comer Children's Hospital on Sunday.

On July 12, Woesnner fell into a sink hole at Mt. Baldy in Michigan City, Ind. His grandfather said Woesnner fell into the sink hole around 4 p.m. while walking with his dad, an adult friend of the family and another boy. 

Last Week Woessner was upgraded to serious condition after being told by doctors he may be able to leave the hospital after 10-14 days.

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

 

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