Thursday April 16, 2015

By God's Grace

Sean Ferguson, the 23-year-old marketing major struck by lightning, has been transferred to a hospital near his home and is beginning a lengthy and difficult recovery, according to his family.

Update April 28, 2015:

Pittsburgh TV station WTAE will air two stories about Sean Ferguson and his recovery during newscasts at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. Tuesday, April 28. 

WTAE anchor Mike Clark interviewed Sean and his family for the story. Clark was on campus last week to talk to several people who on April 8 rushed to Sean's aid after he was struck by lightning, including the student who first administered CPR and had learned it just the day before.

The 5 p.m. story will focus on those who helped save his life and the importance of learning CPR.  The 11 p.m. segment will focus on faith and how many have felt the hand of God at work throughout.

To see a promo, visit www.wtae.com and scroll down the left side to "Struck by Lightning." The newscast will also air live on the station's website. 

Sean continues to improve and has been moved out of critical care into an area of the hospital to focus on his rehabilitation, according to his family. He and his family are deeply grateful for the prayers and support from the University of Dayton community and the many letters from those whose lives have been touched by Sean and by his story.

April 16, 2015:

In a letter to the University of Dayton community, his family said Sean remains in critical but stable condition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy burn center. He was transferred there April 12 from Miami Valley Hospital's burn unit, where the family said Sean "received the highest level of compassionate care imaginable."

"As a result of their medical expertise and the thousands of prayers that continue to be directed his way from around the world — Masses were even held in Australia, Brazil and Ireland — Sean’s condition has improved from a fight for his life to a long, arduous recovery process," said the letter from Mark, Sue and Tara Ferguson. "The road ahead to recovery is going to be difficult and filled with numerous surgeries and rehabilitation to repair his burns and broken bones over the coming weeks and months."

“There are simply no words to express our deep gratitude to all of those who rushed to the scene to give aid to Sean. These first responders, especially the student who stepped forward to initiate CPR, quite simply saved our son’s life. We thank all of you and give thanks to God for sending you to him.”

While walking across a parking lot near the University's School of Engineering Wednesday, April 8, Sean was struck by lightning. Several people rushed to his aid and administered CPR. The University of Dayton student emergency squad and the Dayton Fire Department provided additional treatment and transported him to the hospital. He sustained burns on 35 percent of his body and broke his jaw when he fell.

“The outpouring of love and support from University of Dayton students, faculty and staff has touched and comforted our family,” they said, adding that they "felt the Holy Spirit's presence lighten our worry and fear."

The family wrote: "It would be understandable to view the events of this past week in a tragic and negative light — to question why this freak accident happened to our son. Despite this natural inclination, we feel that the events of the past few days actually revealed the ever-present hand of God in our life.

"How many parents have an opportunity to receive the gift of their child’s life not just once, at birth, but twice? Our family has been granted the ultimate Easter blessing by our loving Father. We should not be sorrowful, but rather joyful. Our son was lost, and by God’s grace, he has been returned to us."

Sean's family expressed thanks for the thousands of people who have prayed on Sean’s behalf and said those prayers will continue to be instrumental to his recovery.

"We firmly believe that Sean would still be battling for his life if not for your prayers. Please keep praying for Sean’s full recovery in the weeks and months ahead."

Correspondence for Sean can be mailed to:
            Sean Ferguson
            P.O. Box 207
            Allison Park, PA  15101

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.

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