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Sterling boy released from Chicago hospital

6-year-old could return home Friday after miraculous rescue

Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
(AP Photo/Tom Papandria, courtesy University of Chicago Medicine)
Nathan Woessner pays a visit Monday to the The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital rooftop landing pad. Hospital officials said the 6-year-old Sterling boy who survived being buried by a sand dune for several hours was released from the hospital Tuesday, 12 days after the accident in Indiana.

STERLING – A 6-year-old Sterling boy who was trapped in a sinkhole at the Indiana Dunes has been released from a Chicago hospital.

Nathan Woessner was released from University of Chicago Medicine Comers Children’s Hospital Tuesday afternoon and will stay at a Chicago area rehab center for a few days before returning to Sterling, possibly Friday, his grandfather said Wednesday.

“Every day seems to be more good news,” the Rev. Don Reul said.

Nathan was with his family at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore July 12, when he fell into a sinkhole on Mount Baldy and was buried for more than 3 hours under about 11 feet of sand.

He spent more than a week at the Chicago hospital. On Sunday, according to a release from the hospital, Nathan walked on his own with little or no assistance. On Monday, the hospital said he was cleared to visit the hospital’s playroom.

Nathan’s birthday is in September, and earlier this week, Reul told Sauk Valley Media that his grandson, before the trip to the Indiana Dunes, said all he wanted for his birthday were birthday cards in the mail.

To help

A variety of efforts are underway to help the Woessner family:

– The Michigan City firefighters who rescued Nathan have set up “The Mount Baldy Miracle” fund through the Unity Foundation of La Porte County, which enables people from anywhere to donate money at uflc.net/funds/the-mount-baldy-miracle/. Donation will help to offset medical expenses.

– People also may send checks to Unity Foundation of La Porte County, P.O. Box 527, Michigan City, IN 46361.

– Rock River Christian Center in Rock Falls, where the Woessners attend church, is accepting donations, both in general and for an upcoming benefit that will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 31 at the church, 1800 Prophetstown Road.

The church is also collecting cards and notes showing support for Nathan and his family.

Those who wish to make donations, monetary or otherwise, can call the church at 815-625-4371.

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