Teen recovers from storm-related injuries
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida teen who was injured when the tree he was climbing was struck by lightning said he considers himself fortunate to have survived the ordeal.
Fifteen-year-old Stefan Marton is recovering at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital from a head injury and fractures in his back that he sustained Thursday around 2:45 p.m. "It's like a big boom, like a flash, it's kind of having a stun grenade thrown at you," he said. "You can't see anything, you can't do anything. You're just helpless."
Marton and a friend were sitting on a large tree in their Cooper City neighborhood Thursday afternoon when the lightning strike caused both teens to fall through branches. "I just felt a tingle though my body, and I guess my hand just let go of the branch," he said.
Marton said he was conscious when his body flipped backwards and began falling. "On the way down, I was thinking, 'Oh, this has got to be a dream, one of those dreams where I think I'm falling,'" he said.
The teen lost consciousness when he hit the ground. His friend Damian, who also felt the jolt, was by his side. "I was unconscious for about 10 seconds," he said. "Damian started screaming my name, and after I got up, I kept on asking him what day it was, like, what happened, and we started running towards the plaza to get under cover, and he noticed that I had a gash in the back of my head, so he decided to call an ambulance."
In addition to the gash that doctors closed with seven staples, Marton fractured his back in three places. He said he admits he should not have been outdoors during the storm. "I would describe it as a big mistake," he said. "I should have just not gone outside, just stayed inside."
Marton's mother said she had warned her son about the dangers of being outside during a storm. "He's a good kid, [but] he's a teenager," she said.
Marton faces months of rehabilitation once he leaves the hospital, but he said he counts his blessings. "I'm actually thinking I'm pretty lucky," he said. "I'm happy that I'm alive."
Marton is expected to be released from the hospital on Saturday. Damian was treated at the same hospital and released Friday.
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