Teen struck by lightning relearning how to walk, talk

Published: Jun. 26, 2022 at 11:43 PM AKDT
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MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. (WESH) - A Florida mother has a warning for parents after her 14-year-old daughter was struck by lightning, only narrowly surviving.

Christina Spencer’s daughter, 14-year-old Lori Spencer, is learning how to speak again.

“Her first words were ‘Yeah’ and ‘Hi.’ And that’s all we got for a couple days. And then, it turned into ‘Where’s brother?’” Spencer said.

Lori Spencer, 14, is learning how to talk walk, eat and essentially how to live again after she...
Lori Spencer, 14, is learning how to talk walk, eat and essentially how to live again after she almost lost her life to a lightning strike.(Source: Christina Spencer, WESH via CNN)

The teenager is also learning how to walk, eat and essentially how to live again after she almost lost her life June 10 in Merritt Island. She and her friend were indirectly hit by lightning while under a palm tree.

“Why did that lightning bolt hit the tree standing next to my daughter? I don’t know. It was random. It wasn’t raining. It was barely misting outside. So, the ground was just wet enough,” Spencer said.

Lori was rushed to the hospital, unresponsive and breathing on a ventilator. Her mom was at work half an hour away at the time of the strike.

“Her friend, Eva, gave her CPR, and that’s probably what saved Lori’s life. She might have suffered a heart attack, is what stopped her heart initially,” Spencer said.

Doctors now believe Lori can fully recover and that the damage she suffered is reversible.

“We just got to get through the hard stuff, the painful stuff, and the frustration as a mom watching your baby not be herself or be hurt. You can’t do anything about it. That part sucks a whole lot,” Spencer said.

Spencer says anyone who hears her story can help by being cautious of storms and never letting this happen to another child.

“Don’t take the storms in this place for granted. … Lightning is a scary, scary thing, and it can easily take your child from you, if you’re not careful,” she said.

The other girl hurt in the strike suffered from fractures and nerve damage but is doing better, according to Spencer.

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