Iron Range community rallies for father recovering from lightning strike

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The city of Virginia, Minnesota, will be showing their support Saturday for one of their own – an Iron Range father who suffered critical injuries when he was struck by lightning.

Jay Mott was watching his son's little league game when a thunderstorm arrived on Sunday, June 28. Gathering his 4-year-old daughter into his arms, they ran for the car to get out of the rain.

But just 20 feet from the vehicle, they were struck by lightning, leaving his daughter with burns and Mott fighting for his life in the hospital, according to his GoFundMe page.

His family has organized a benefit to raise money to help with his continuing recovery. It will include a children's carnival, a mini baseball tournament, a spaghetti dinner, silent auctions and raffles with prizes including VIP tickets to the Twins and Vikings. A full list of events can be found here.

The GoFundMe page reveals that Mott went into cardiac arrest "multiple times" following the lightning strike – including needing to be resuscitated on the little league field before being taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth.

But progress is being made.

In a progress report on the Helping the Motts website, it says that Mott is now able to walk with the help of a weighted walker, and dexterity is slowly returning to his hands.

"He now remembers his visits and visitors much better than when he first began therapy," it says. "You've never seen a man who beams with such joy as when his children come to visit him. One of the hardest things, for all of them, is having to part each day."

His GoFundMe page had set a target of raising $10,000 to help the family cover his medical bills and make up for the income he's losing while he's not working.

So far, $7,500 has been raised, but Saturday's events should provide them with another boost.

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