The odds of being struck by lightning are 960,000-to-1, making it an extremely rare and devastating event for most people, but it does happen.
When Isaiah Cormier and Juliette Moore, his beloved girlfriend of two-and-a-half years, went on a camping trip to Nederland they could tell that bad weather was brewing, yet had no inkling of the life-changing event that storm would cause.
Isaiah Cormier, at the ripe age of 18, only recently entered the world of adulthood himself. His girlfriend, Juliette, is also 18, but the couple is mature for their age. That’s one of the things that attracted them to each other in the first place; as well as the fact they’re both really cute.
An Instant Spark
When Cormier and Moore first met, their friends suspected that the two would become an item right away. The chemistry between them was undeniable as they had so much in common. Among other things, both were animal lovers and enjoyed the great outdoors as often as they could.
Romantic Camping Trip
The camping trip to Ruby Gulch in Boulder County, Colorado, also referred to as “Nederland,” offered the couple a chance to spend some quality time together outdoors. The first night was, luckily, pleasant and uneventful. But on the second day of the trip, things took an unanticipated turn for the worst.
Dark Clouds at Lunchtime
Around lunchtime the couple returned to their campsite after enjoying some food. They noticed the clouds growing a darker shade. The wind kicked up and it was clear a little rain was on its way. But a thunderstorm wasn’t what they expected.
No sooner had the couple arrived at their campsite when the rain started to pour. They were busy stashing items in Moore’s car when a bolt of lightning struck nearby. The clap of its thunder boomed around them. Seconds later, another bolt struck even closer to where the car was parked.
The couple felt they were in danger, so they instinctively bundled into their tent to try and avoid the storm. Moore made it inside with Cormier right behind. But, unfortunately, he couldn’t avoid the next lightning bolt.
Moore smelled something burning. She turned to notice Cormier on the ground unable to move, apparently paralyzed by the lightning strike. Yet, fearlessly, even with the rain as thick as a blanket and the visibility at less than a meter, Moore acted quickly. And her fast action is probably what saved her boyfriend’s life.
Flash of Light
Moore spoke about what happened on that day. “I didn’t see him get struck,” Moore said. “I had just gone inside the tent 10 or 20 seconds earlier. I saw a really bright flash of light through the tent, I don’t remember any sound. But I stuck my head outside the tent and [Cormier] was face down on the ground.”
A True Herione
Moore had previously completed a first aid course, fortunately, which allowed her to save her boyfriend’s life. She revived him twice using cardiopulmonary resuscitation, more commonly known as CPR. And apart from some stiffness on the left side of his body, Cormier felt no other symptoms from the bolt.
Even though Cormier seemed to have made a full recovery, Moore remembers he stopped breathing at one point. “I rolled him over and it was really obvious he had been struck by lightning,” Moore said. “His coloring, it was a lot of colors. He was, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen electrical injuries before, but yellow, red. He started turning blue, but that’s because he had stopped breathing.”
Fight For Life
Moore yelled for help as she helped her boyfriend. A man camping nearby heard the screams and rushed to the scene. As the man made his way to assist, Moore watched Cormier’s chest rise and fall between rescue breaths. Lucky for Cormier, she had taken a lifesaving course just one month before.
This story highlights the importance of knowing CPR. As Moore said, “I couldn’t imagine if I had seen him and not [known what to do]. Time is of the essence when you need to do CPR.” And she’s certainly right, as she was able to save her boyfriend’s life as a result of that CPR training.
After stabilizing Cormier, Moore and the man who came to help bundled him in her car to head to the nearest hospital. She called 911. To her relief, there was an ambulance standing by in the area. Within minutes it was en route to Moore’s location.
Stunned, Cormier had little idea where he was or what had happened. “I kept asking the guy in the back of the ambulance with me what happened,” he remembered, “and every time he told me I was struck by lightning, I said, ‘No way.’”
Lucky To Be Alive
Cormier was rushed to Boulder Community Health’s Foothills Hospital and was then transferred to the burn unit at UCHealth’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. He was only there for two days, mainly for observation, and walked out in good health.
Walk It Off
It may not sound like the most sympathetic response from doctors, but they told Cormier to live as normal. “They basically told me to walk it off,” he said. “I was surprised that I lived, let alone that I have no permanent injuries, and then for them to tell me to just start getting back to some light exercise and stuff — wow, I am very blessed to be where I am.”
When Jason Cormier, Isaiah’s father, headed to the hospital to see his son, he told reporters that he and his family prayed all the way to the hospital. And when he saw his son he was relieved that he wasn’t in too bad a condition.
Mr. Cormier had a divine theory as to how his son survived and got away unscathed…
Mr. Cormier was convinced that it was his son’s headphones, which he wore around his neck when the lightning struck, that saved his life. He claims, based on the markings along his son’s neck and chest, that the headphones took the brunt of the strike.
To Mr. Cormier, his son surviving is nothing short of miraculous. He believes that his faith in, and prayers to, God are what could have been the reason for this miracle.
“When we started to see some of the results we were seeing,” Mr. Cormier said, “[faith in God] just became something that was profoundly real. I just think that people have different ways of defining miracles, and if this isn’t one of them, I don’t know what is. I would say that it has reinvigorated our faith (in prayer) and more than anything made us very thankful.”
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