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Child struck by lightning Thursday now in fair condition

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 23:20:55-04

A child is recovering after initially being in critical condition from a lightning strike near Williams Park boat ramp in Riverview Thursday afternoon.

It happened just after 4 p.m. The child, named Levi, was boating with his family when he was struck by lightning. The bolt knocked him off the boat, according to family representative Pastor Daniel Butson.

"The next 24-48 hours are critical to try and figure out what's going to happen next, but as far as we know right now, he's in fair condition. He's responding and he's doing pretty well," said Pastor Butson with FishHawk Fellowship Church.

ABC Action News Chief Meteorologist Denis Phillips said a lightning detection network showed there was no rain at the ramp at the time the strike occurred. Philips said rain was still five to 10 minutes out.

Pastor Butson said Levi's father jumped into the water to save the boy. Good Samaritans picked up the duo and the father performed CPR until first responders arrived.

"His parents did not know whether Levi was alive or not because they were behind the ambulance and so as time went on the news actually began to get better and better. You can imagine as a parent this is an absolute nightmare," said Pastor Butson.

Levi was taken to Tampa General Hospital. Pastor Butson said 24 hours after the strike, the child is in fair condition.

According to Pastor Butson, the family does not need donations and is "thankful for all involved in helping them in the past 24 hours and thankful for all the prayers and support.

"This is what happens when people go to the Lord. He wants to answer our prayers and we really believe God can do more in 5 minutes of prayer than we can do in our lifetime of our own effort and that's what we saw on display in the past 24 hours," said Pastor Butson.