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Father, daughter recall surviving lightning strike

July 6, 2019

WEST JORDAN, Utah (AP) — A father and his teenage daughter who survived being struck by lightning last month say they feel lucky that fellow attendees at the youth conference had the medical training needed to help keep them alive until first responders arrived.

The Deseret News reports that Scott Robinson and 17-year-old Chloe Robinson remember little about the moment they were struck on June 20 outside a museum in Fillmore, Utah. But Dave Kotter remembers it all vividly because he helped make sure they didn’t die, the newspaper says.

The Robinsons were playing croquet under a tree during the youth group trip with fellow members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when a storm began and unleashed the lightning.

“It was just the most immense flash and the clap and just a big sonic boom. It was really a sound I’d never heard before,” Kotter said. “I said out loud: ‘That was close.’”

Kotter then heard someone yell: “Someone’s down.”

Kotter, a nurse practitioner trained in critical care, first spotted Scott Robinson looking gray and ashen with his eyes rolled back. Kotter said he knew he needed to first attend to Chloe Robinson when he saw that she was convulsing. He said he helped keep her airway open until first responders arrived.

Two other people, Mary Ann Marchant and Andrew Nelson, performed CPR on Scott Robinson who was in cardiac arrest. Nelson said he just kept thinking about Robinson’s wife as he pushed on his chest.

“And I just kept saying, ‘You have to live for Amy. You have to live.’ That’s all I could think of the whole time,” Nelson said.

Emergency responders kept him alive until he arrived at a hospital in Salt Lake City, where he was stabilized.

Chloe Robinson suffered burns to her head and has a long, red mark down her leg where the lightning traveled.

The newspaper says both spent several days in the hospital and are fine now. Chloe Robinson had singed hair so she shaved it all off, giving her a matching look with her father.

They laugh as they look at the clothes they were wearing that are now tattered from the lightning. The top of Scott Robinson’s new favorite hat, purchased on a recent trip to Switzerland, has a massive hole from the strike. Chloe Robinson’s sweat shirt from Paris and jeans are also ripped to shreds.

The father and daughter say they are extremely grateful for everyone that stepped in and helped them. They said their faith is strengthened and they share a renewed urgency to make the most of their lives after the close call.

“I’ve got more reasons to live. I’ve got to figure those out. I’ve got to push forward, I’ve got to be a good person. It’s a second lease on life,” Scott Robinson said.

Chloe Robinson echoed that sentiment: “It’s just confirming that I’ve got important things to do.”

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