13-year-old girl saved by CPR after being struck by lightning in Garfield Park
“It was only because the patient received high-quality CPR immediately that she survived,” said a trauma physician at Stroger Hospital.
A 13-year-old girl survived a lightning strike in Garfield Park earlier this month after a relative jumped into action, performing life-saving CPR at the scene.
On Aug. 3, the girl had been visiting the 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 physicians said she was lucky to have received a swift response from her family member, as the lightning caused the girl to fall into cardiac arrest.
“It was only because the patient received high-quality CPR immediately that she survived,” said Dr. Thomas Messer, a trauma physician at Stroger Hospital. “There is no question that without CPR her outcome could have been devastating.”
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The girl was able to return home just four days after the incident. Despite the traumatic experience, she is now fully recovered and expected to start school without issue.
Following her release, the girl’s family expressed gratitude for their relative’s quick application of CPR until first responders from the Chicago Fire Department arrived to continue the life-saving measure, adding that more people should familiarize themselves with the emergency procedure.
“Her survival depended upon the total expertise of the early responders,” they said in a statement Thursday. “It is our hope that our extraordinary experience will influence others to complete the CPR training required to intervene in immediate life-saving procedures.”
Local CPR training can be found at www.redcross.org/take-a-class/.