Is lone survivor of white house lightning strike newbury park woman

is lone survivor of white house lightning strike newbury park woman
is lone survivor of white house lightning strike newbury park woman

Is the lone survivor of the white house lightning strike Newbury park woman

Six lightning bolts struck four people in less than a second earlier this month, in a park just across from the White House. Amber Escudero-Kontostathis, a native of Newbury Park, California, was the only one to survive the tragedy that made national headlines. In what doctors have called an “absolute miracle,” Escudero-Kontostathis is alive, and, in an interview with ABC News, she shared her story of that frightful day.

is lone survivor of white house lightning strike newbury park woman
is the lone survivor of white house lightning strike Newbury park woman

“I don’t feel good about being the only survivor, that’s for sure,” a still-shaken Escudero-Kontostathis said in the interview. “I am grateful, but it doesn’t make me feel good to be the only one.”

Escudero-Kontostathis was waiting in Lafayette Square, a public park just across the street from the White House, for her husband to pick her up. After finishing some fundraising work for International Rescue Committee, she was ready to celebrate her 28th Birthday with her husband. A severe thunderstorm arrived just as he was about to leave. That’s when Escudero-Kontostathis, along with retired couple James and Donna Mueller of Janesville, Wisconsin, and 29-year-old Brooks Lambertson, a banker from Los Angeles, huddled underneath a tree for shelter.


“I always thought, like, a tree would, if it were hit by lightning, would catch on fire and you run from the fire,” Escudero-Kontostathis explained. “I knew from childhood that you are supposed to enter buildings.”

This is when the lightning struck, at 6:50 p.m. local time.

The lightning bolt stopped Escudero-Kontostathis’s heart, and her body was motionless on the ground of Lafayette Square in the seconds following the lightning strike.

Two good Samaritans who were both ER nurses from Texas jumped into action and performed CPR alongside Secret Service agents. Escudero-Kontostathis and the two nurses reunited this week at the site of the lightning strike.

“I worked with all three people, and she worked on you, and a few others, because we had to move about,” Nolan, an ER nurse, said in an ABC News interview.

Jesse, another ER nurse, stated that she had “got your first pulse back”. It was back in its place. “I remember holding your hand, and you were gripping it tightly. Then you lose your pulse.

Then, with the help of Secret Service agents who used defibrillators, Escudero-Kontostathis was revived before being transported to a local hospital.

“If it weren’t for all of you guys, I wouldn’t be here,” Escudero-Kontostathis said while expressing her gratitude to the two Texas ER nurses who provided her with life-saving support. “I feel like I owe everything to you guys. “I’m so grateful to you guys.”

After spending two days in the intensive care unit, Escudero-Kontostathis was well enough to move to the burn unit. Escudero-Kontostathis’s brother said that doctors believe the strike entered her side and exited her left arm. Though Escudero-Kontostathis is recovering, she still requires the assistance of a walker and was seen in the TV interview wearing a brace over her left hand and left elbow.

Escudero-Kontostathis was the lone survivor. The strike claimed the lives of James and Donna Mueller who were celebrating their 56th anniversary.

“I was surprised to discover that I was actually struck.” I didn’t really fully comprehend at first,” said Escudero-Kontostathis through tears. “I don’t know how I survived. It’s unfair.

Escudero-Kontostathis recalled that the last thing she remembered doing that day was talking to the Muellers about life in Wisconsin.

“I remember asking how their time was out here,” said Escudero-Kontostathis. “I hope they didn’t think I stopped them from talking to me. “I hope they weren’t there because I was there.”

Although Escudero-Kontostathis has a long road of recovery ahead of her, she’s thankful for the second chance at life.

“I knew I died and came back,” said Escudero-Kontostathis. “No matter how cheesy or tacky it may sound, you never know when your last day will be.


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