Boy rescued from Indiana sand dune moving arms, legs


The doctor who helped treat a six-year-old Illinois boy who was buried in sand for hours at a northern Indiana dune says the child is expected to make a full neurological recovery.

Dr. Tracy Koogler is medical director of pediatric intensive care at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

She said Monday that Nathan Woessner may suffer some lasting lung problems from breathing in sand, but is responsive and can move his limbs.

The boy has been in critical condition since being rescued Friday from the Mount Baldy dune in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Park officials are investigating whether Woessner fell into a hole created by a long-buried tree that had decomposed, leaving a void in the sand. He was trapped under 11 feet of sand for more than three hours.

Officials announced Monday the Mount Baldy area will remain closed indefinitely. Officials plan to bring in ground-sensing equipment to see if voids or other potential hazards can be identified. Additional expertise also is being sought from the Geologic Resource Division of the National Park Service and other sources.

Koogler says Nathan is sedated and on a ventilator, but should be removed from it by the end of the week. She also said he'll likely be released from the hospital in 10-14 days.

The boy's grandfather told reporters that Nathan was walking with family members when "the earth swallowed him up." He said the boy's father could hear Nathan despite the boy falling into a hole over 30 feet deep.

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