Student struck by lightning on first day of school
A Shelby County high school student was struck by lightning while walking home from class on the first day of school. The lightning strike happened around two o’clock Monday afternoon, on Hughes Meadow, just outside of Southwind High School in Southeast Shelby County.
Friends identify the teenager as 17-year-old Tierney Bourage. She was still at LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center Monday night. At last update, she was still unconscious, and in critical condition. But she was showing some signs of improvement.
“It was just a regular street,” Bourage’s friend Charles Esaw said. “No trees coming over, nothing.” Friends say they saw the seventeen year old lying on the ground. “There was probably a crowd of ten and a couple of women on the ground doing CPR,” Esaw said.
When Charles Esaw discovered who the girl was, he was stunned. “Just broke down, speechless.” The Shelby County Fire Department says when paramedics arrived the teen wasn’t breathing, and her heart wasn’t beating. Esaw says Bourage’s mother was frantic. “Crying and praying,” he said.
The fire department says the girl’s heart started beating by the time paramedics got her to the hospital, but her breathing was still very labored. Esaw says the storm started suddenly.
“It was just sunny, and the next thing I know it was raining, thundering and lightening.”
Marquis Beasley says he used to walk home from school with Bourage before he graduated.
“She’s a real sweet person,” Beasley said. “The kind of person you’d like to get to know.”
Beasley says he will now take lightning much more seriously. “It scared me. Because it could have happened to me or anybody else.”
LeBonheur is not releasing any updates on Bourage’s condition. The Shelby County Fire Department says she was showing signs of slight improvement, such as movement in her legs and feet, and a tear in her eye. Experts say those are good signs.