Ashleigh Lawrence

Age: 17
Save Date: 9/4/2003
Activity: Struck by lightning

On September 4, 2003, a lightning bolt hit the ground behind me when I was in my oral surgeon's parking lot. The force threw me over a hill backwards and knocked me unconscious. My father saw this and dragged me up the hill in the heavy rain. I had no pulse and was not breathing. He began CPR while screaming for help. The oral surgeon, Dr. Bresner, ran out and took over CPR. Soon after, a police officer arrived and a junior EMT in training, Nick, who had heard my father screaming, came to the scene. They carried me into the surgeon's building and started CPR again. The police officer retrieved his new AED and gave it to the junior EMT to use. Nick dried my body off and used the defibrillator once and restarted my heart. The ambulance was there and took me to the hospital, all the while breathing for me since I had not started to breathe on my own. At the hospital, I remained unconscious and was Life-flighted to Children's Hospital Intensive Care. There I was put on a ventilator and had tubes in me everywhere. My body temperature was lowered to 88 degrees F. I remained unconscious for 2 days and was slowly weaned off the drugs that kept me in a coma. My body temperature was slowly raised and I started to move my hands and feet. I was still groggy, but could open my eyes at times. By the 4th day, the ventilator was removed and some IVs were taken out. I could speak a little then and could have some fluids by mouth. Two IVs had to stay in to take blood and give me extra fluids. On the fifth day, I was moved to a regular room and evaluated by a physical therapist. He said I did not need therapy. My memory at that point was poor. In fact, I still don't remember the accident. I went home the next day after making a miraculous recovery. My family stayed with me the whole time. A news reporter and photographer met me at my house. I gave several interviews and I am back in school full time.

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