First post: Aug 16, 2020 Latest post: Sep 29, 2023
On July 16th 2020 at 4:30 pm our life changed forever. We had been on vacation for 2 days and this was our second day. It was a perfect day.  We had already talked about wrapping it up and getting ice cream later. The sky started to darken very quickly. My husband and I decided it was time to go. So we grabbed our stuff and started walking off the beach. We had probably walked 15 feet when it happened. I was walking next to Jacob but then all of a sudden I was on the ground. I thought what happened did I trip why am I on the ground? There was unbelievable pain and ringing in my ear. I was disoriented and looked next to me Jacob dropped to the ground. I said Jacob are you ok? He didn’t answer but instead started foaming at the mouth. I knew he needed CPR and fast. I started screaming please please does anyone know CPR? Please someone call 911!! Two men Luis Perez and Guillermo Hernandez ran over and started CPR. Three minutes in and Jacob wasn’t responding. I started screaming please God please save Jacob! My husband was next to his body praying as the two men kept trying to save Jacob. Our daughter Ashley started praying.  A man runs towards us and says he is a pre-med student and takes on the chest compressions as we are going 6 minutes without a heartbeat.  The storm is on top of us now and it unleashes it’s fury on us. The wind blows sand all around us and lightning is everywhere. Every time it flashes and thunders my heart stops. We have to get him off the beach my husband picks up his dead body and starts carrying him across the beach. The rain has become torrential. We get to the access path that goes out to the street when a Sarasota deputy named Mark Eve runs up to us. He sees us and says drop him and he starts the compressions again. Then an ambulance golf cart shows up to help Jacob. The lightning is horrific it’s everywhere. As they drive away with Jacob my husband looks back and says where’s Ashley? I realize she’s gone is she back on the beach, did someone take her somewhere, or did she run back to our room? The Sarasota Sheriffs Department Deputy Mike Eve assures me that we will find her. As I stand in a parking garage under a condo near the beach I just cry. Finally the storm let up and we found Ashley in our resort room. We gathered a couple of Items and headed to the hospital. Once at the hospital they walk my daughter and I to a consultation room I see my husband wrapped in a blanket with a doctor and a Sarasota Sheriff’s victim officer I start panicking. I said “no please no I can’t do this!“ My husband immediately drops the blanket and runs over to hug me and tell me he’s alive. I can’t believe it! How could this kid directly hit by lightning without a pulse for close to an hour be alive. 


for some of our story from dad's view, see the  journal entry made September 7: