Sean’s Story: Student Survives Lightning Strike

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Sean Ferguson’s family saw the miracles that can God perform first hand when Sean was struck by lightning. He not only survived, but he fought back and now thrives.

“God didn’t put all these events in place on the front end for it not to work out on the back end,” said Mark Ferguson, Sean’s father.

Mark talks about how God has deepened their faith during the past few years. And when Sean was struck while crossing a parking lot at the University of Dayton, it was that faith that pulled the family through.

“I was flying home from a business trip and I was connecting through Chicago. I checked my phone and I had a voice mail from one of the faculty advisors who was on call at the University of Dayton that night asking me to give him a call that there was an, ‘Incident with Sean,’ “ said Mark.

Mark was left with not knowing the details of the “incident” and if he would see Sean again.

Fast Care At the Scene Is Key

Thanks to the quick action of a witness to the lightning strike, Sean received CPR right away.

“It just so happen that that bystander had taken CPR, I think, not 24 hours prior to this event.  And that’s probably what saved his life,” said Erin Mobley, PA, Miami Valley Hospital Regional Adult Burn Center. “He was breathing and alive and was awake. He wasn’t fully conscious but he at least was not to a point where we needed intubate him.”

Getting CPR right away was a big thing for Sean, said Jessica Young, RN, nurse manager in the Emergency & Trauma Center at Miami Valley Hospital.  “That meant that he had minimal downtime with regard to not having blood flow to his heart and his brain and his other vital organs.”  

Mobley describes Sean injuries as covering a significant part of his body.

“Sean had a 32 percent total body surface area burn which was the majority superficial second degree and a small portion that was a third-degree burn.”  

Miami Valley Hospital has the trained staff, the equipment, and the facility to care for Sean’s injuries.

“You have the emergency medicine staff here. You have the only level one trauma center here in the Dayton region. You have the only burn center in the Dayton region altogether that can help with his care,” Mobley said.

Mark agreed, “I can’t imagine going through this with any better care team than the one that we had.  And I don’t say that lightly.  We felt tremendous comfort and confidence and believe that Sean is where he is now because of the decisions that were made at Miami Valley Hospital.”

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