Boy who was struck by lightning thanks first responders who saved his life


"They need to know it was because of them Nate is alive."

That's what Wendy Burke said of first responders who helped save 12-year-old Nate Burke's life when he was struck by lightning at Enger Golf Course June 28, WCCO notes.

Nate and his mother met with first responders at the course Wednesday to say thank you, the Duluth Police Department wrote on Facebook.

Nate and his friends had gone to the driving range when the storm hit. The boys were headed into the clubhouse when Nate was struck – he was thrown several feet and found face down, WDAZ says.

Rob Irving heard the lightning strike, turned around and ran over to him.

"When I rolled him over his face was bloody and what I really remember was the smells," Irving told Northland's NewsCenter. "The smell of the electricity, the burnt hair."

Irving performed CPR until first responders arrived at the scene.

“There was no pulse, there was no breathing, there was no nothing,” Sgt. Chuck O’Connor of the Duluth Police Department told FOX 21.

He was transported to Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center and was listed in critical condition. Nate doesn't have much memory of that day, telling WCCO when he was in the hospital, he thought he had been checked in hockey.

Nate improved and was released from the hospital July 1, the Duluth News Tribune reports. He suffered some burns on his stomach, marks on his feet and his hair was scorched, WDAZ notes. But now he's almost fully healed, aside from a sore wrist and shoulder, reports note.

And the Burkes say that is because of the quick-thinking actions by the people at the golf course and first responders.

“It’s just extremely rewarding to see him up and about,” Irving said, according to WCCO.

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