Weather Authority Alert

UPDATE: Wis. boy struck by lightning returns home

By: Britni McDonald Email
By: Britni McDonald Email

UPDATED Friday, July 5, 2013 --- 9:50 a.m.

8-year-old Blake Draeger arrived home in Weston after being released from a Madison hospital Thursday.

He had a warm welcome from friends and family who were thrilled to see him home.

Blake said that he is looking forward to being able to get back to leading a normal life.


UPDATED Wednesday, July 3, 2013 --- 9:53 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- An 8-year-old boy who was struck by lightning in central Wisconsin could soon be released from the hospital.

Blake Draeger is recovering at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.

He was struck June 26 as he rode his dirt bike in a field in the Town of Rib Falls. The lightning ruptured his eardrums, scratched the lenses of his eyeballs and left more than a quarter of his body covered with second-degree burns.

The boy's father, Chris Draeger, says the medical team doesn't predict any permanent damage to Blake's ears or eyes.

Daily Herald Media reports the boy could be released from the hospital as early as Thursday.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


UPDATED Monday, July 1, 2013-- 4:45 p.m.

8-year-old Blake Draeger's recovering in the burn unit at UW Hospital after being struck by lightning. His family says it's unbelievable he survived.

"Lightning just came out of nowhere," said Blake's father, Chris Draeger. "Just the loudest bomb I've ever heard in my life. It was insane."

Blake's father, Chris, remembers the day he thought he might lose his son.

"I never thought that it could happen. When I saw I'm laying there, I couldn't believe it."

Described as a loveable boy with a big heart, Blake was out on his family farm in rib falls Wednesday, riding around on his dirt bike.

He was just a few feet from his dad and other family members when, without any rain or clouds in the sky, he was struck.

"When I looked up, Blake was lying on the ground, and the bike was lying on top of him" said his father. "I took his helmet off. He was actually hot. It actually hurt my hands to touch him. He was that hot."

He threw Blake in the truck to meet up with the ambulance. Blake wasn't breathing for several minutes.

"I know we were a ways down the road before we got any sound out of him. when we heard that it was like hearing him cry for the first time. it was pretty amazing."

Blake had second degree burns on his head, back, and arms. Both of his ear drums were ruptured and he had scratches on his eyes.

"He was very disoriented, wasn't looking at me, making noises," said Chris.

Monday, with bandages wrapped around his body, he had a big smile on his face, expecting a full recovery.

"He's a strong little guy. I'm pretty proud of him for that."

His father now thanking people who have sent their warm wishes from across the country.

"I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful for everyone. We're so thankful for him that he's still here.

Chris said his son should be able to go home by the end of the week.


UPDATED Monday, July 1, 2013 --- 4:00 p.m.

An 8-year-old boy burned by a lightning strike is recovering at the UW Hospital in Madison.

NBC15's Britni McDonald spoke with the boy's father today. She will share his story tonight on NBC15 News at 5 and 6.


Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 --- 6:21 a.m.

RIB MOUNTAIN, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities say an 8-year-old boy has been burned by a lightning strike in central Wisconsin.

Rib Mountain fire officials tell WSAW-TV the boy was on a motorcycle Wednesday about 6:30 p.m. near Edgar when his father saw lightning strike his son. The father ran over to the boy and began CPR. He then put him in a car, started heading to the hospital and called 911.

An ambulance met them en route and took the child to Aspirus Wausau Hospital. He was transferred to another hospital, which was not identified. There's no immediate word on his condition.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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