RIB FALLS - Eight-year-old Blake Draeger's recovering in the burn unit at UW Hospital after being struck by lightning. His family says it's unbelievable he survived.
"Lightning just came out of nowhere," said Blake's father, Chris Draeger. "Just the loudest bomb I've ever heard in my life. It was insane."
Chris Draeger remembers the day he thought he might lose his son.
"I never thought that it could happen. When I saw I'm laying there, I couldn't believe it."
Described as a loveable boy with a big heart, Blake was out on his family farm in Rib Falls Wednesday, riding around on his dirt bike.
He was just a few feet from his dad and other family members when, without any rain or clouds in the sky, he was struck.
"When I looked up, Blake was lying on the ground, and the bike was lying on top of him," said his father. "I took his helmet off. He was actually hot. It actually hurt my hands to touch him. He was that hot."
He threw Blake in the truck to meet up with the ambulance. Blake wasn't breathing for several minutes.
"I know we were a ways down the road before we got any sound out of him. When we heard that it was like hearing him cry for the first time. It was pretty amazing."
Blake had second-degree burns on his head, back, and arms. Both of his ear drums were ruptured and he had scratches on his eyes.
"He was very disoriented, wasn't looking at me, making noises," said Chris Draeger.
Monday, with bandages wrapped around his body, he had a big smile on his face, expecting a full recovery.
"He's a strong little guy. I'm pretty proud of him for that."
His father now thanking people who have sent their warm wishes from across the country.
"I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful for everyone. We're so thankful for him that he's still here.
Chris said his son should be able to go home by the end of the week.
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