Nathan Woessner released from rehabilitative care

2013-07-26T19:15:00Z 2013-08-22T23:05:39Z Nathan Woessner released from rehabilitative careJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com

Nathan Woessner, the 6-year-old boy who was swallowed by a sand dune two weeks ago, has been released after four days of rehabilitative care at a Chicago children's hospital.

He still will need more therapy after being buried under 11 feet of sand at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore for more than three hours. But he has returned to his home in Sterling, Ill.

Nathan, whose survival has been called miraculous, started rehabilitation at La Rabida Children's Hospital in Chicago on Tuesday, the same day he was discharged from the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital. He was initially in critical condition, but doctors were able to take him off a ventilator and let him breathe on his own last week.

Doctors at La Rabida treated him for issues with balance, gait and memory.

He underwent physical, occupational and speech therapy at La Rabida. The children's hospital discharged him Friday morning.

Doctors said Nathan has been doing well and is able to bathe himself, brush his own teeth and walk independently, according to a news release.

Nathan will have to return to the children's hospital at a later date to continue his rehabilitative work.

His family had been vacationing at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on July 12 when Nathan was swallowed in a sinkhole while climbing Mount Baldy.

The Mount Baldy area – including the parking lot, beach and trail – has been closed indefinitely. Investigators are looking into the possibility that the hole that swallowed Nathan was created by a long-buried tree that decomposed, leaving a void in the sand.

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