A quick-thinking military veteran father saved his daughter’s life with his emergency medical skills last weekend.
Steve Jorgensen had to respond with chest compressions and CPR after his daughter was struck by lightning while playing in the rain with a friend in her grandparents’ backyard in the Phoenix-area suburb of Sun City West on Saturday, according to Fox Weather.
“It was a super, super bright, loud crash that cracked,” Jorgensen said of the blast.
A doctor at Valleywise Arizona Burn Center, where 12-year-old Ella Jorgensen was treated, said the girl’s heart stopped after the lightning strike.
But her father’s quick actions prevented the worst outcome, according to Dr. Kevin Foster.
“I think the instrumental thing in saving her was that her father recognized that her heart had stopped, and he was able to do effective CPR and get her heart started again and that literally saved her life,” Dr. Foster said.
Ella’s heart stopped three different times as her father provided medical treatment, according to Fox Weather.
Jorgensen had to resort to both CPR and chest compressions to resuscitate her.
“I got her heart back going. Got her breathing [for a] short amount of time, so I lost it again.”
“I panicked started again, got her heart beating a little longer,” the hero father said of his response, according to Fox Weather.
“I’m just a dad taking care of his daughter.”
Ellas’s friend, who was standing right next to her, was unharmed by the lightning strike, Jorgensen said.
Ella received some burns on her neck from a necklace she was wearing, and also had blistering and burns on her chest and legs, but is expected to make a full recovery, her father said.
“She is basically unscathed,” Jorgensen said, according to Fox Weather. “It’s amazing.”
In an interview with KPNX-TV, Jorgensen described seeing his daughter stuck by lightning with his own eyes.
Jorgensen cited his Marine Corps military training as providing him the experience to respond appropriately in the situation.
“I fought in Iraq in 2007, and Afghanistan in 2008, so I’ve had plenty of experience,” the veteran said.
“All my training from the infantry helped out quite a bit.”
Jorgensen’s daughter is responding to her near-death experience with a touch of her father’s bravery and resilience. After being intubated for a day, she was breathing on her own, but experiencing some nausea, he said.
All Ella remembered of the incident was her necklace breaking and seeing a white light. She was surprised when her dad told her she’d been struck by lightning.
“She didn’t believe me at first,” he told KPNX. “Once we got the tubes out, and her mom told her again, she just looked at her mom, hugged her and said ‘I’m going to have a cool story forever now,” the father said of his daughter’s reaction.
“I’m a little jealous of her now, because now she gets to talk a little bit more crap on me, she makes fun of me, ‘you’ve been blown up twice, and now I’ve been struck by lightning,'” Jorgensen quoted his daughter, according to KPNX.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.