Lightning Victim Thanks Those Who Saved His Life
12-Year-Old Nate Burke Holds Gathering, Meets Heroes
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It’s a night the Burke family worried they’d never see.
“I can’t thank everyone enough, they saved my son’s life,” said Nate’s mother Wendy Burke.
But two and half weeks ago was a different scene.
I held him, I got close. It smelt like he was burned, that’s what it smelt like, his hair was singed,” Wendy explained.
Twelve–year–old Nate Burke lay on the greens at Enger Golf Course lifeless.
“There was no pulse, there was no breathing, there was no nothing,” said Sergeant Chuck O’Connor with the Duluth Police Department.
The odds are 1 in 700,000. But that Sunday night, Nate was one of three people in the Northland struck by lightning.
“As a mom, it’s just not a call you ever want to get,” Wendy said, tearing up.
It was a night where the right people were in the right place at the right time.
“Snap, crack, extremely loud.”
Rob Irving was leaving the course when the lightning hit.
“Something just told me to go back and look,” Irving said. “The closer I got, I just kept telling myself, ‘Please don’t be a kid,’ and then, of course, it was.”
He was the first to Nate’s side to perform CPR.
“Rolled him over and he didn’t look good at all, he was very blue,” Irving described.
Sergeant O’Connor followed shortly, also trying to bring Nate back to life.
“I’m just looking at a 12–year–old that I’m praying survives,” O’Connor explained. “All I could think about was my kids, all I could think about was his parents.”
Tuesday night was the Burke family’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to all the men and women who saved Nate’s life.
“Everybody was where they needed to be,” Wendy said.
“He went from being so dead, to being able to see and meet this person,” Irving added.
And helped turn a tragedy into a miracle.
“We’re here today because of them,” Wendy smiled.