On May 15, at 5:10 p.m., Elijah, 11, was heading home from a bus stop, a few feet away from his father, Matthew Boggs, and baby brother, Grayson, 6, when lightning hit his father and brother.
He was terrified. When he turned Grayson over, he was smiling a little. Elijah assumed they were joking. But when he rolled his dad over, the middle of his head was bleeding, and his face was already purple.
Elijah was most likely spared due to a drift in the driveway that forced him to turn to the left, away from his brother and father, who stayed to the right.
Stephanie Burris, Matthew’s cousin, claimed family members who were there at the occasion stated Matthew leaned down and grabbed Grayson’s hand shortly after the two split from Elijah.
He had just finished telling Grayson—he had said, ‘I love you buddy’ That’s when the lightning struck, recalled Matthew’s mother, Angela Boggs, who was outdoors mowing her lawn next door to her only son when he was struck and died.
When emergency personnel got to the scene in Valley Mills, TX, roughly 30 minutes outside Waco, Matthew and Grayson were both unconscious, with Matthew showing no signs of life.
Grayson, who was breathing but unconscious at the time, was taken to McClane Children’s Hospital at Baylor Scott and White.
Angela, who was shocked by her son’s death, said that she always took care of him since he was the one that God gave her. Her duty now is to take care of her grandchildren.
Dr. Max Kopitnik, a trauma surgeon at Baylor Scott & White, said that the bolt impacted Matthew in what he calls a “direct hit, from cloud to person,” which he says is nearly universally deadly. The electrical current then proceeded to Grayson, causing serious electrical burns on the interior and exterior.
The probability of experiencing lightning is one in 1.2 million. According to the National Weather Service, there were 43 lightning-related deaths per year in the United States during a 30-year period (1989–2018). Furthermore, only around 10% of those hit by lightning are killed, with the other 90% suffering from varying degrees of impairment.
Grayson, who according to his family is still mainly unconscious, has been suffering regular seizures, and an MRI found damage to his frontal lobe and his optic nerve. The youngster also experienced a serious anoxic brain damage, which was brought on by a lack of oxygen to the brain and may have affected his capacity to walk, speak, eat, and/or see.
Burris set up a GoFundMe to help the family after the horrible event, and as of Tuesday, it had generated more than $77,000 of the $100,000 target, including updates on Grayson’s health.
Burris claimed that the kid, who has pneumonia and rhinovirus, had been moving his eyes and squeezing her hand for many days, but physicians aren’t sure whether those actions were intentional.
The doctors attempted to take Grayson off the ventilator today, but when they removed the tube, Grayson was not moving enough air on his own, his carbon dioxide levels went up, and his oxygen levels went down, so they put the tube back in, she wrote on May 29. The doctor advised him to stay on the ventilator for another week or two before trying again. If he fails to come off the ventilator again at that point, physicians will consider inserting a tracheostomy.
On May 27, Matthew, who relocated the family from Indianapolis to Texas around six years ago, was buried.
Matthew Smith, who is survived by his wife Kayla and children Elijah, Grayson, and Navaeh Smith, was described in his obituary as a dedicated member of the Bosque County Cowboy Church who loved watching wrestling and being with his family. Matthew took immense happiness in music and enjoyed singing any chance he got, it reads, but they can rest assured that Matthew is now singing with the angels.
When it came to kids, they were his whole universe. They were his little pals. They liked to wrestle and play video games, Burris said. One of Elijah’s favorite things to do with his dad was go swimming at the pool, she stated. They absolutely let go and would play in the water for hours.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Matthew and Grayson Boggs’ families and loved ones. We can imagine the anguish of everyone left behind, as well as that of Matthew’s mom Angela and young Elijah, who saw it all. We hope Grayson heals quickly and returns to his family.
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