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All involved agree, sand dune rescue ‘a miracle’

July 15, 2013 • National News


Dr. Tracy Koogler, medical director of pediatric intensive care at the University of Chicago Medical Center speaks about the condition of six year-old Nathan Woessner during a news conference, Monday, July 15, 2013, in Chicago. Dr Koogler who helped treat Woessner who was buried under eleven feet of sand for hours at a northern Indiana dune says the child is expected to make a full neurological recovery. The boy has been in critical condition since being rescued Friday from the Mount Baldy dune in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

CHICAGO (AP) — One minute, 6-year-old Nathan Woessner was scampering up a massive dune in northern Indiana with his dad and a friend. He was gone the next, without a warning or sound.

More than three hours later, rescuers pulled Nathan out from under 11 feet of sand on Friday. He showed no signs of life: He was cold to the touch, had no pulse and wasn’t breathing. His limp body was put into the back of a pickup truck, which started toward a waiting ambulance.

The plan was to take him to the hospital rather than the coroner’s office, even if he was dead, in order to “give the family and rescue workers hope,” La Porte (Ind.) County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Huffman said Monday.

As the truck bounced over the dune, a medic noticed something astonishing: The boy took a breath. Then, a cut on his head started bleeding. The jolt apparently shocked Nathan’s body back to life, Huffman said. Nathan was rushed to the hospital and was crying in the emergency room when Huffman arrived a Login to read more

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