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Family's pastor says prayer helped 11-year-old boy survive lightning strike

“It hit his lower back, and went through his left foot, and actually knocked him out of the boat,” the boy's pastor said.

RIVERVIEW, Fla. — An 11-year-old boy was struck by lightning during a family fishing trip Thursday afternoon in Riverview.

The child's pastor, Daniel Butson of Fishhawk Fellowship Church, said that that lightning strike turned a day on the boat into a nightmare.

“It hit his lower back, and went through his left foot, and actually knocked him out of the boat,” Butson said. “Into the water, where he began to sink.”

Pastor Butson said 11-year-old Levi Stock's father dove into the water after him, doing everything he could to make sure he didn’t lose his son.

“Some good Samaritans who saw this happen,” he said.  “They get Derek and Levi into their boat, and that’s where Derek begins to offer life-saving CPR…he was doing CPR and Derek described to me ‘Daniel, it was like it lasted an eternity. It might have been five or 10 minutes, but it felt like forever.”

Pastor Butson says emergency responders arrived at the scene, and found that Levi had a faint pulse. Butson says crews rushed Levi to the hospital while his family sent out one request for the community…“please, pray.”

“We dropped everything, we started praying,” Butson said. “We let our whole church know to start praying. The community began to pray. People at the dock were praying…I know this was a story about the power of lightning, but it really ought to be a story about the power of prayer.”

Now, Pastor Butson says we’re able to tell a story of triumph, instead of tragedy.

“Twenty-four hours later, he’s now responding to his parents,” Butson said. “He’s talking, and I just got a report a few minutes ago that the doctors think he’s going to make a complete and full recovery. Which, we just praise the Lord for.”

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