Teen injured by freak lightning strike making slow recovery

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It's been ten weeks since a lightning strike at an Indianapolis summer camp injured three children. Two of them got back on their feet within days, but the third is still recovering in Cincinnati, and his recovery has been painstakingly slow.

Before his injury, Ethan Kadish's parents described him as an active 13-year-old, playing baseball, basketball and soccer.

"Ethan is a very loving and big-hearted kid," said Scott Kadish.

But, Ethan's life changed dramatically on June 29th at the Goldman Union Camp Institute. On a warm day, lightning struck near him.

His heart stopped and robbed his brain of blood for what doctors describe as a significant amount of time.

Ethan has yet to speak, walk or even move. But he is now breathing on his own - something his parents consider to be a hopeful sign. "I feel that, over the last several weeks, continually, I see more light behind his eyes. Just more life behind his eyes," said Alexia Kadish.

And, his doctors in Cincinnati say he is engaged, enduring hours of therapy and showing progress from week to week. Dr. David Pruitt said, "When we work with Ethan, he hears what we're saying to him. He's unable at this time to express how he is feeling, but he is aware of his environment and responds to his environment."

Ethan's treatment plan calls for many more weeks in the hospital, and perhaps years of outpatient therapy at home. His family plans to take it as it comes.

"What I've noticed is that every week that we reflect on Ethan's progress, there has been improvement," Scott said. "As long as this Friday is better than the previous Friday, we are making progress," said Alexia. 

There was no storm in the area when lightning struck Ethan. The national weather service describes the phenomenon as a "bolt out of the blue," and it occurs more often than most people think.