Teenager recovering after lightning strike

Stefan Marton suffers gash to head, 3 compression fractures to spine

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - One of the teenagers jolted out of a tree when lightning struck them Thursday said he was fortunate to be alive.

Stefan Marton, 15, remained at Memorial Regional Hospital on Friday.

"We were talking about bikes, and out of nowhere we heard a big boom and I just felt a tingle through my body and I guess my hands just let go of the branch," he said.

Marton and his friend Damian climbed about 20 feet up a ficus tree in Chase Park in Cooper City when lightning struck it.

"I just heard a ringing and my body was still tingling and everything was really bright," he said. "It's like a big boom, like a flash and it's kind of like throwing a stun grenade at you. You can't see anything, you can't do anything -- you're helpless."

"It was all kind of in slow motion," said 16-year-old Damian, who was thrown forward and later released from the hospital. "I was scared."

"I just saw a bluish, whitish color, and I felt my body flying backward but I couldn't see what was going on," added Marton. "I couldn't see where I was falling. On the way down, I was thinking, 'Oh, this has got to be a dream. This is one of those dreams where I think I'm falling,' like one of those endless falls."

Marton suffered a gash on the back of his head, three compression fractures to his spine, and several cuts and bruises.

"I'm actually thinking I'm pretty lucky and I'm happy that I'm alive," said Marton.

Doctors said Marton should be released Saturday.

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