Lightning victims’ condition upgraded, benefit concert planned at Tuacahn

ST. GEORGE – Only a week has passed since two boys from Snow Canyon High School were struck by lightning, yet already they are making great strides in their recovery.

Alex Lambson, 17, has been upgraded from critical to serious condition, and Christopher “Dane” Zdunich, 16, has been upgraded to good condition, and both have been taken off respirators and are able to get out of bed.

On a blog, set up by the parents to update the public on the boys’ status, the post this morning reported that both Alex and Dane were awake with Alex more than willing to start heading home. Alex is not able to speak much but his parents said he did say he needed to start walking. When asked where he was going he replied, “Home.”

The post this morning reported that while Alex has full movement of his right side, he is not in control of his toes and fingers on his left side. His parents were hoping that at least in part, the lack of control was because of the burns on his fingers, but to be sure, the doctors ordered a neurological test Sunday called an Electroencephalogram (EEG).

The test results came back today showing some moderate brain damage to Alex’s right central parietal which may leave him with some balance issues on his left side and some memory defused slowing. The doctors put him on an IV of Keppra, largely used for seizures. However, in this case it is not being administered for that purpose but to help stimulate brain activity. Another EEG will be conducted after three days.

Still the parents remain hopeful, posting that they believe Alex’s lack of control has more to do with the combination of the accident, the various drugs he has been given and the stress he has been under, than it does with brain damage.

“I think he will be fine. . . So we will stick with my diagnosis not the doctors for the next three days,” today’s post read.

Dane’s parents posted their son is doing everything on his own and is eating a little. He has even been to visit his friend Alex.

“He’s really worried about Alex,” the post read.

In many of the posts the parents also express their gratitude to those who administered CPR to their sons, writing the boys would not be alive today if not for their efforts. One of the posts reads, “the burn team said they never really treat lightning victims because they usually don’t make it, either because no one was there or they waited too long, or by the time they arrive they are already brain dead.”

Thousands of dollars have already been donated to the families, with the Snow Canyon principals scheduled to take at least some of the money down to Las Vegas tomorrow.

To help raise additional funds for the families there is a benefit concert scheduled Monday, October 18, at 7 p.m. at the Tuacahn Performing Arts Center. The concert is being organized by three Snow Canyon High School students, Mikelle Atkinson, Shalissa Fowles and Shauna Lowe, and will have various performances from solo artists to jazz bands with students representing Snow Canyon and Pine View High Schools.

At capacity Tuacahn can hold 2,000 people, which Kim Whitman, the drama director at Snow Canyon High School and overseer of the benefit concert said, she hopes they fill.

“We would really love to sell out of tickets,” Whitman said.

The tickets are currently being sold at Tuacahn Center for the Performing Arts, 1100 Tuacahn Drive, Ivins.

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