Nathan Woessner, 6-Year-Old Boy Trapped In Sand Dune, Remains In Critical Condition
Nathan Woessner was buried under 11 feet of sand after falling into a collapsed dune while walking with his father in Michigan City, Ind. Woessner, 6, remains in critical condition, but is expected to make a full recovery.
Woesnner was trapped in the sand sinkhole for roughly three and a half hours before he was rescued. It’s believed that an air pocket was created when the sand fell in around the boy, enabling him to survive the would-be fatal accident. He’s currently at the University of Chicago Medical Center undergoing treatment for his injuries, none of which were life threatening or would effect his brain.
“[Nathan’s] parents want to extend their deepest thanks to the Michigan City fire and police departments and all the authorities, private companies and individuals who contributed to the rescue effort,” hospital spokesperson Lorna Wong said in a statement. “They also ask that people include this little boy in their prayers.”
Wossener, who was responsive when he was brought to the hospital, is able to move his arms and legs, but remains slightly sedated. He’s also been attached to a ventilator to aid his recovery. "Because of his lung injury, we are trying to keep him sedated with medication. And intermittently we have also had to give him medication to paralyze him," said Dr. Tracy Koogler, University of Chicago Medicine, reported ABC News. "If he continues recover at the rate he is, we expect him to be off the ventilator by the end of the week."
The nature of the 6-year-old’s frightening accident is perplexing to the U.S. National Park Service, who have since closed the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore indefinitely. “I have never heard of anything like this here or at other sand dune parks," NPS spokesperson Bruce Rowe told the News Dispatch. The leading theory is that the hole was created by a decomposed tree that had been buried beneath the sand’s surface, leaving the void that Wossener fell into behind.