Lightning strike gives student new outlook on life
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A college student who was struck by lightning last spring has returned to the University of Dayton with a new outlook on life.
Sean Ferguson, 23, of Pittsburgh, spent months in rehab healing from his broken bones and burns, and now, he expects to graduate from the Ohio college in December.
He was walking home in Dayton in April when he was struck by lightning. Several passers-by rushed to help him, and one gave him CPR.
Ferguson calls that man his "guardian angel."
"He learned CPR just two days beforehand at the only airport in the country that has a CPR kiosk," Ferguson told WKEF-TV. "It's safe to say he's the reason I'm here."
Ferguson suffered a broken jaw and burns to more than 35 percent of his body, the university said, and a GoFundMe account was created to help with Ferguson's medical bills. He has received more than $17,000.
He said he still feels the sensation of pins and needles from his knees to his toes and he had to go through physical therapy to relearn how to walk.
So far this year, 22 lightning-related deaths have been reported compared with 26-reported last year and 23 reported in 2013, according to the National Weather Service.
Ohio ranked fourth highest in the nation with 146 lightning-related deaths reported from 1959 to 2013, according to a report made available through the weather service.
Ferguson told the Dayton Daily News that he has a new perspective on life and plans to start jogging and running in hopes of getting back to playing sports and other outdoor activities.
"I'm just realizing how fragile life can be and that it can be taken at any given moment," he said, adding that he doesn't take anything for granted now.
He said soon, he plans to meet the man who gave him CPR.
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why did Sean suffer burns?
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