Posted on June 27, 2014 at 8:59 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The sister of the 9-year-old Charlotte boy struck by lightning Wednesday frantically called 911 for help.
Sister: My younger brother got hit by lightning... (inaudible)
911: I can't understand what you're saying?
Sister: My younger brother got hit by lightning. I think he's dead.
Listen to the 911 call here
The boy was hit while practicing track and field on the JCSU campus. Witnesses say they heard thunder and noticed the boy on the ground unresponsive. The victim's name and condition have not been released.
Doctor Stephen Colucciello with CMC says survival rates are actually favorable in lightning strikes.
“A lot of times lightning can flash over a body and up to 90 percent, or at least 80 percent of people, hit by lightning actually survive," said Colucciello.
The doctor says there are two types of death with lightning strikes; one, the person stops breathing or their heart stops, the other and rarer instance is where the person takes a direct hit and has massive internal injuries.
“People you can are those whose brain stem has been shocked and it stopped their respiratory center, so if you breathe for them their respiratory center can come back online so to speak, and they can breathe again," said Colucciello.
Even in survival, often times the person hit must live with prolonged health issues. Doctor Colucciello says a child can often have better chances for survival because they generally have healthy organs.
This is Lightning Awareness Week. The National Weather Service advises people to be aware of the dangers. If you hear thunder, it's time to head inside.