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Amazing Recovery Of Boy, 11, Struck By Lightning As He Left School

06/11/2012 11:39 | Updated 22 May 2015
Amazing recovery of boy, 11, struck by lightning as he left schoolSWNS
An 11-year-old boy has made an incredible recovery from horrific burns – after he was struck by lightning in front of his classmates.

Joe Compton had been waiting by the school gates to be collected from Dorcan Academy in Swindon after being kept in detention when he was suddenly hit by a lightning bolt.

Joe was found unconscious, face down in the mud outside the school. The strike caused 22 per cent burns to his neck and body, a heart attack and burst Joe's ear drums.

Joe spent a month in Bristol's Frenchay Hospital receiving skin grafts. But he has at last been allowed home and next month he will be fitted with a special body suit next month to aid his recovery.

The strike happened at around 3pm on September 26 during Britain's worst storm in 30 years.

Recalling the horror, Joe's mum, Emma Dean, told the Swindon Advertiser: "I thought he was going to die. "When he was transferred to Frenchay, the specialist burns surgeon said he had never dealt with a lightning strike in his 25 years in the job.

"Lots of people who get hit by lightning don't survive so Joe is very lucky and so are we."

Joe added: "I do feel kind of lucky and I feel all right now. I can't really remember anything that happened that day or even waking up in the hospital but I know I had detention after school so I was a little bit late coming out.

"I don't remember the pain at the time or afterwards because I blacked out."

Stuart Arthur, 37, who was standing in the reception at Dorcan Recreation Centre when the storm hit, arrived first on the scene to administer CPR.

He said at the time: "I heard a horrendous crack and there was a bright white light - I knew then that something was wrong.

"I ran outside and found the young lad face-down and unconscious. Luckily the training kicked in and we were able to perform emergency procedures on him.

"We assessed whether he was breathing and it was apparent that he was not so I started CPR."

He and his colleague Stephanie Woodman, 38, who was also in reception when the bolt struck, used a defibrillator from an emergency kit.

Although he has made an extraordinary recovery, It will be at least two years before Joe can expose his skin to direct sunlight.

When he was released from hospital, Joe was also invited to Swindon Town FC's County Ground stadium to meet the players, where he was presented with a signed shirt bearing the name 'Lucky' and the number one.

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