Washington lightning survivor meets couple who helped save her 1:05
(CNN) — Amber Escudero-Kontosta is the sole survivor of a deadly lightning strike outside the White House earlier this month, and despite going through something life-changing and suffering nerve damage, she said she is recovering. quickly.
Escudero-Kontostathis, 28, and three other victims weathered a thunderstorm under a tree in Lafayette Park on August 4, a law enforcement source told CNN earlier this month.
Six bolts of lightning struck in half a second, Escudero-Kontostathis said Thursday on CNN’s “New Day” show.
Amber Escudero-Kontostathis, the sole survivor of the lightning strike that struck DC earlier this month, spoke to CNN on Thursday, August 18.
James Mueller, 76, Donna Mueller, 75, and Brooks Lambertson, 29, all died of their injuries.
“I’m not sure why I’m the one who pulled it off,” Escudero-Kontostathis said. to WUSA, CNN affiliate. “I definitely have survivor’s guilt because if I was so lucky, I feel like everyone should be.”
Plagued with nerve damage from the waist down that leaves her feeling numb in her legs, Escudero-Kontostathis now relies on a walker to get around most of the time.
“Sometimes my legs just don’t want to do what they’re supposed to do,” he described. “It feels almost like pins and needles is the best way to explain it, but really magnified. Sometimes it feels like my feet are on fire or really cold because the nerves don’t know how to process the pain.”
Escudero-Kontostathis said doctors told her that no patient had ever survived what she endured.
“The ER nurses actually gave me my heartbeat back twice, and there were 10 minutes between those two beats where I had no oxygen to my brain, I had no heartbeat at all,” he said.
Escudero-Kontostathis was campaigning in the park for Threshold Giving, a community organization that raises funds for nonprofits like the International Rescue Committee and the Humane Society, according to WUSA.
During the impact, Escudero-Kontostathis was wearing Doc Martin shoes with thick rubber soles, which he said likely helped reduce some of the impact he absorbed, but he credits emergency responders, hospital staff and the U.S. Secret Service. United States for saving his life.
“Don’t go out in a storm wearing Docs because that won’t save you, that’s for sure,” he said. “It’s the miracle workers who allow these miraculous stories to happen so they’re the ones who get all the kudos, all the attention goes to them.”
Video captures the strong lightning that fell near the White House 0:40
An elderly couple and a bank executive died from the lightning strike
Squire-Kontostathis is still trying to piece together parts of time that are missing from his memory, but he remembers meeting and talking to the Muellers, who were visiting from Wisconsin, before they were all struck by lightning.
“They were really lovely and wonderful people,” he said. “My heart constantly breaks for the two families that are going through that loss.”
James Mueller and Donna Mueller, victims of the lightning strike in Washington earlier this month.
The Muellers and Lambertsons were the 10th, 11th and 12th dead by lightning so far this year in the United States, according to John Jensenius, an expert with the National Lightning Safety Council.
Lambertson, Vice President of City National BankI was in the area on business from Los Angeles.
Brooks Lambertson, one of the victims of the lightning strike in Washington earlier this month.
“Brooks was an incredible young man who will be remembered for his generosity, kindness and unwavering positivity,” his employer said in an online news release. “Her sudden loss of him is devastating to all who knew him and his family, friends and colleagues appreciate the thoughts and prayers that have come from across the country.”