Nation

Outlook good for boy pulled from dune

A family photo of Nathan Woessner.

A family photo of Nathan Woessner.

CHICAGO — A 6-year-old Illinois boy who was buried in 11 feet of sand for hours at a northern Indiana dune is expected to make a full neurological recovery, though he may have ongoing lung problems, a doctor who treated him said Monday.

Nathan Woessner is sedated and on a ventilator but should be removed from it by the end of the week, said Dr. Tracy Koogler, medical director at the University of Chicago Medical Center’s pediatric intensive care unit.

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Nathan may be released from the hospital in 10 to 14 days, she said.

He has been in critical condition since Friday, when he was rescued after falling into a sinkhole and being buried for about four hours. Nathan was climbing the Mount Baldy dune in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore with his father and two friends.

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Nathan’s grandfather, Don Reul of Galva, Ill., said the 8-year-old friend saw Nathan disappear into the sand. Nathan’s father and his friend’s father could hear him at first and tried to dig him out with their hands.

Reul, a pastor, said the family feared Nathan was dead when he was pulled out, until a cut on the boy’s face began bleeding.

Then, Reul said, ‘‘hope began to bubble up in our family that Nathan’s not gone.’’

Associated Press

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