FARGO, N.D. (AP) - One of two children pulled from a submerged
car in Devils Lake could leave the hospital within a week and make
a complete or near-complete recovery, a doctor says.
Seventeen-month-old Hunter Thunder was in the water Tuesday for
more than half an hour before being rescued. His brother, Bryan, 3,
died Tuesday night.
"In a period of significantly less than 24 hours, we've seen a
continuing trend of good improvement, so statistics would argue in
(Hunter's) favor," Waldemar Storm, a pediatric critical care
doctor at Fargo's MeritCare hospital, said Wednesday.
"(He's) moving his hands and feet very deliberately, very
purposefully and spontaneously, and he's breathing well, although
he's assisted by the respirator," Storm said. "And he's showing
signs of being aware of his surroundings."
The boys' father, Brian Thunder, of Sioux Falls, S.D., said
Hunter is a strong child who has been in the hospital before.
"He's a tough little boy. He's going to walk home," Brian
Thunder said. "I'm just telling him that daddy's here; I'll be
with him until he walks out of here."
The car the two boys were in plunged through a fence, down an
embankment and into 15 feet of water at Spirit Lake Casino marina
shortly after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.
Highway Patrol trooper Steve Nelson said the children apparently
managed to put the car in gear after their mother, Geraldine
DeMarce, of St. Michael, went into a convenience store.
Members of the Lake Region Search and Rescue dive team pulled
the boys from the car and they were flown from a Devils Lake
hospital to MeritCare, where Bryan Thunder died hours later.
"(His) heart just didn't respond," Storm said.
Hunter Thunder was in critical condition in MeritCare's
pediatric intensive care unit on Wednesday.
The boys' mother was admitted to a Devils Lake hospital Tuesday
night for undisclosed treatment, Storm said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)