Fort Worth teen survives lightning strike, still recovering a year later

A teenager from Fort Worth is still recovering a year after being struck by lightning while on vacation.

The lightning strike hit 15-year-old Jacob Brewer in the chest while he was on a Florida beach last July.

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He survived but is now paralyzed from the waist down.

He’s been in and out of several hospitals over the past year for treatment. Right now, he’s getting specialized care in Jacksonville, Florida.

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"I’m fine, just continuing therapy here in Florida with the new program," Jacob said. "This new muscle movement is getting a little stronger each day, so there’s some progress there." 

His mom, Barbara, describes the past year as a rollercoaster.

"We’ve become a stronger family through all of this and letters that we received, the prayers that we received, it helps us keep going. You know, all of the words of encouragement, it’s amazing. I mean, we get letters and cards from all over the country and it really keeps us going," she said.

The Brewer family is also trying to spread awareness about the dangers of fast-moving storms.

"I don’t really remember it that well but from the pictures it looks like it was way off in the distance actually. There was like a tone of people still on that beach so it’s not like we were alone there," Jacob said. 

"We were shocked to hear that this past weekend another teenage boy was struck by lightning on vacation with his family from Georgia. And to hear that another family is going through what we went through, it was very hard for us to hear. In fact, immediately when we heard we prayed for the family. We wouldn’t wish this on anybody" Barbara said.

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She suggests people download an app that tracks lightning before going out on the lake, to the beach or even just an outdoor sporting event.

The app should be able to detect lightning up to 10 miles out because that’s how far it can travel in a storm.