Condition Improves For Boy Buried In Dune

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July 19, 2013 — Doctors at Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital say six-year-old patient Nathan Woessner’s condition is improving.

They say though he might have lingering lung issues because of inhaled sand, for now they’ve upgraded his medical condition from “critical” to “serious,” and stable.

He went to the hospital one week ago after emergency responders rescued the six-year-old Sterling, Illinois boy from a sand dune at Michigan City’s Mount Baldy, where he was walking with his family along Lake Michigan’s south shoreline. His family says that’s where the sand dune collapsed, burying the boy for more than three hours in up to 11 feet of sand.

Dr. Rachel Wolfson says Nathan Woessner has been removed from a ventilator and he’s breathing on his own, recovering from sedation and responding to commands.

National Park Service rangers at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore were among rescuers who helped recover him last Friday, limp and cold, yet he began breathing en route to the hospital. Doctors have said Woessner should have a full neurological recovery, despite lung problems from inhaling sand.

The Park Service is inspecting the dune to try to determine the cause of the sand hole, which it describes as a one-time occurrence.


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