Boy Buried Alive In Sand Dune Recovering Well

A six-year-old boy who survived being buried alive after a sand dune collapsed around him is recovering well and could be released soon.

Nathan Woessner, who was initially in a coma after becoming trapped in the dune in Indiana, is "listed as in good condition and continues to improve" at Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago.

His doctor, Diana Mitchell, said he had returned to a regular diet and can leave his room to visit the playroom.

Nathan was buried for more than three hours on July 12 at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, about 40 miles southeast of Michigan City.

He is expected to make a full neurological recovery, but may suffer lingering lung problems from inhaling sand.

He was removed from a ventilator last week. But he is now minus two front teeth - which had been loose - after they were knocked out when he was intubated.

"We're saving them for him, and they're going to put them under his pillow at some point," his grandfather Don Reul told The LaPorte County Herald-Argus newspaper.

Nathan suffered scrapes on his face and a cut on his head that required more than 20 staples, and both his corneas were scratched by the sand, his grandfather said.

"The ophthalmologist has been in, and they don't see anything (serious). His motor skills are good so there doesn't seem to be any damage in that area.

"He's coming along at a rapid rate in his recovery, so we're just really happy about where things are and how they're progressing."

The boy from Sterling in Illinois has not mentioned his ordeal, the grandfather added.

"He hasn't had any recollection so far that he's told us about, and we're hoping that he has none," he said.