A 13-year-old girl survived a lightning strike in Garfield Park earlier this month after a family parent sprang into action, performing life-saving CPR at the scene.
On Aug. 3, the girl was visiting Garfield Park Conservatory with her family around 2 p.m. when she was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm that began Wednesday afternoon, according to the Chicago Park District. She was rushed to Stroger Hospital, where doctors said she was lucky to have received a quick response from a family member, as lightning knocked down the young girl in cardiac arrest.
“It was only because the patient immediately received high-quality CPR that she survived,” said Dr. Thomas Messer, trauma physician at Stroger Hospital. “There is no doubt that without CPR his outcome could have been devastating.”
The girl was able to return home just four days after the incident. Despite the traumatic experience, she is now fully recovered and should start school without a problem.
After her release, the girl’s family expressed their gratitude for their relative’s prompt application of CPR until first responders from the Chicago Fire Department arrived to continue the lifesaving measure, adding that more people should familiarize themselves with the emergency procedure.
“His survival depended on the full expertise of first responders,” they said in a statement Thursday. “We hope that our extraordinary experience will inspire others to undergo the CPR training required to intervene in the immediate life-saving procedures.”
Local CPR training can be found at www.redcross.org/take-a-class/.