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Boy struck by lightning still hospitalized, but will recover


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) --  It was a week ago that a Wausau area boy was struck by lightning. 8-year-old Blake Draeger remains hospitalized at University of Wisconsin Hospital’s Burn Center, but he’s getting better.

Blake’s dad Chris Draeger says there wasn’t any rain, and not a cloud in the sky when the lightning struck Blake. “When I looked up, Blake was laying on the ground, and his dirt bike was laying on top of him. When I took his helmet off, he was actually hot. It almost hurt my hands to touch him, he was that hot.”

The boy’s father was able to resuscitate Blake, and put him in the truck to meet an ambulance. He had a frightening period of time between getting Blake to breathe and getting him to respond. “I know we were a ways down the road before we got any sound out of him, and when I heard that, it was like hearing him cry for the first time. It was pretty amazing.”

Chris Draeger says they’re all amazed by his son’s survival and recovery. “He’s a strong little guy. I’m pretty proud of him for that. He’s doing wonderful. He’s going to recover and he’s going to be fine. I’m thankful for that, I’m thankful for everyone, so thankful for him, that he’s still here.”

Blake suffered 2nd degree burns and his eardrums were ruptured. He is expected to make a full recovery, and could go home by the end of the week.