Boy, 6, rescued from Ind. sand dune expected to recover - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Boy, 6, rescued from Ind. sand dune expected to recover

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The doctor who helped treat a 6-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.

Nathan Woessner is sedated and on a ventilator, but is responsive and can move his limbs.

Dr. Tracy Koogler, medical director of pediatric intensive care at the University of Chicago Medical Center, said Monday he may suffer some lasting lung problems from breathing in sand.

His family held a news conference to thank rescuers, doctors and the public on Monday. His family is convinced his expected recovery is a miracle.

Woessner was walking up Mt. Baldy in the Indiana Dunes Friday when he stepped into what was described as a sinkhole. Witnesses said he disappeared under more than 11 feet of sand.

His father and a friend frantically tried to dig him out with their hands. They said they could hear him calling, but Nathan was sinking farther down than they could reach.

He remained under the sand for four hours. Rescuers brought in two backhoes to dig him out.

The boy has been in critical condition since the Friday rescue.

His grandfather, church pastor Don Ruel, says he's certain that God intervened.

Koogler says Nathan should be removed from the ventilator by the end of the week. She also said he'll likely be released from the hospital into rehab in 10-14 days.

They expect he'll be back to playing and riding bikes like any other little boy in no time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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