The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 16, 2013

All involved agree, sand dune rescue 'a miracle'

(Continued)

Then, volunteer firefighter Ryan Miller, the vice president of an excavating company, spotted the outline of what looked like a rotten tree about 11 feet down — maybe more — and pushed the rod until it stopped at the boy. Michigan City firefighter Brad Kreighbaum reached down and "felt what he believed to be Nathan's head," Miller said.

It was just in time, as there was no air pocket surrounding Nathan.

"He was fully encapsulated in sand," Miller said, noting it took about five firefighters to pull him out.

Once the family heard the boy was bleeding, Reul said, "Hope began to bubble up ... that Nathan's not gone."

He was airlifted Friday night to the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital from an Indiana hospital.

"I expected him to arrive much sicker than he did," said Koogler, medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit.

Nathan was sedated so doctors could remove as much of the sand in his lungs as possible. She said Monday doctors don't see any more sand particles but believe some are still in there.

Doctors also said early neurological tests didn't reveal any brain damage; Nathan can move his arms, legs, fingers and toes. Koogler also said Nathan's eyes appear to be fine, adding he must have had closed them while buried in the sand.

She said the biggest concern remains the boy's lungs, telling reporters Monday that Nathan could develop asthmalike symptoms in the months to come but that the injury to his lungs was "not nearly as severe as I expected it to be."

Koogler said if Nathan continues to recover at the same rate, he would likely be taken off the ventilator by the end of the week and released from the hospital in 10 to 14 days, but may need another month in a rehab facility.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee