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The family of a ground worker who was struck by lightning at a southwest Florida airport says doctors told them he’s “nothing short of a miracle.”
Video from Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers showed 21-year-old Austin Dunn being struck by lightning back on July 22. In the video, Dunn is seen walking on the tarmac under the nose of a Sun Country plane when the lightning hit.
In a statement released Sunday night, Dunn’s father said he was working an extra shift to save money for a vacation when the incident happened.
“He tells us when he was laying there after being struck, that he couldn’t feel anything from the neck down and struggled to stay awake. He said he was kept awake by his “Poppy” Mike Dunn until help arrived. His Poppy passed away 10 months ago from Cancer,” his father wrote.
Dunn was rushed to Tampa General Hospital’s Burn Unit ICU with second and third-degree burns, and could not feel from his neck down, his father said. He also had bleeding on his brain.
It was also feared that Dunn could lose his right hand, which had the exit wound from the lightning, but his father said he will be able to keep it with extensive physical therapy.
“He is continuing to mend each day. He is following up with the burn clinic for possible skin grafting, and nerve damage. Along with numerous doctor visits,” his father wrote. “Austin is at the beginning of a long recovery.”
Dunn’s father also thanked supporters, which he said included people who were on the plane when the lightning strike happened.
“Doctors tell us he is nothing short of a ‘Miracle,’ we believe that ‘Miracle’ was all of your prayers!” he wrote.