WASHINGTON, DC – The only survivor of a deadly lightning strike that killed three people on August 4 is slowly recovering in hospital after experiencing a living nightmare on her 28th birthday.
Amber Escudero-Kontostathis had spent the day collecting donations to help Ukrainian refugees, when toward the end of her shift, a storm gathered with clouds, rain, and thunder, gradually taking over outside the White House.
The 28-year-old who was set to begin her master’s degree at John’s Hopkins University in the fall, was released from the ICU over the weekend and managed to take her first few steps. Amber has severe burns along the left side of her body and arm, while her short-term memory is permanently damaged.
Her mother, Julie Escudero told the Ventura County Star that she believes the boots worn by her daughter helped save her life due to the thick rubber soles.
“The trauma doctor came up yesterday and said she’s an ‘absolute miracle,’” Escudero added in the interview.
Brooks Lambertson, a young vice president for City National Bank, was one of three people killed during his business trip from Los Angeles.
A husband and wife from Wisconsin celebrating their 56th wedding anniversary were also struck by lightning and died.
Lambertson managed sponsorships for the bank and previously worked in marketing for the Los Angeles Clippers, according to City National’s statement. He lived in downtown LA.
“Brooks was an incredible young man who will be remembered for his generosity, kindness and unwavering positivity,” the statement said. “His sudden loss is devastating for all who knew him, and his family, friends and colleagues appreciate the thoughts and prayers that have poured in from around the country.”
He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he majored in recreation, parks, and tourism administration, with a concentration in sports management, the bank said.
James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75, of Janesville, Wisconsin, died of their injuries after the lightning strike in the park located directly outside the White House complex, the Metropolitan Police Department said.
Officers with the Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police witnessed the lightning strike Thursday night and ran over to render first aid, officials said.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.