UPDATE: Benefit Planned for Boy Struck by Lightning

By: Team Coverage Email
By: Team Coverage Email
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UPDATE: Mon 3:15 PM, Jul 15, 2013

Texas Roadhouse in Rib Mountain will host a benefit Sunday, July 28 to help offset medical costs for the family of Blake Draeger.

The Weston boy was struck by lightning on June 26 while riding his dirt bike.

Blake is expected to make a full recovery, however money is being raised for additional medical treatment.

Texas Roadhouse says that they will donate 10 percent of their sales on July 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to the Blake Draeger Recovery Fund.

In addition, the store will celebrate Parent’s Day by honoring all parents including Chris Draeger, Blake’s father, who saved Blake’s life by performing CPR on him while on the way to Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Texas Roadhouse is located at 4800 Rib Mountain Drive in Rib Mountain.

If you'd like to help, but are unable to attend the family has an online account set up. Visit GoFundMe.com and search “Blake Draeger”.

UPDATED: Fri 4:10 PM, Jul 05, 2013

"He is going to be just fine. His ear drums are giving him a little bit of grief right now but that is going heal itself and his eyes are back to normal. Basically, just getting his burn wounds to heal,” explained Chris Draeger of his son's condition following a week hospital stay after being stuck by lightning.

Blake Draeger was released from a Madison hospital Thursday and is now home in Weston.

It is an outcome his family would have never imagined.

“It was absolutely frightening... terrifying. It happened right in front of us and it was just the worst thing I have ever seen in all my life,” said Blake's father describing the incident on June 26.

It may be his youthful innocence, or perhaps just his brave spirit, but Blake seems remarkably unfazed by his entire ordeal.

"Was this a scary thing to go through?" I ask. “No,” Blake simply replied.

One thing that is for sure is now Blake can get back to leading a normal life.

"I like riding my dirt bike. I can water my garden. I can play with my baby kittens and play with my friends outside and jump on the trampoline and stuff like that,' he said.

Blake dad said they are thankful for the car they received in Madison. “I have never seen so many doctors and nurses care for someone so fast and so thoroughly," he said.

While most families are spending this holiday weekend celebrating the independence of our nation. The Draeger family is celebrating something even more- they are celebrating a life that's been saved.


UPDATED: Thurs 10:59 PM, Jul 04,2013

Eight-year-old Blake Draeger has now arrived home in Weston after being released from a Madison hospital earlier today.

He had a warm welcome from friends and family who were thrilled to see him home. Blake said that he is looking forward to being able to get back to leading a normal life.

Newschannel 7's Ryan Burk was at the welcome home celebration this evening and will bring us a full report Friday.

UPDATED: Thurs 3:24 PM, Jul 04, 2013

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- An 8-year-old boy who was hit by lightning last week in central Wisconsin is now out of the hospital.

Blake Draeger of Weston had been riding his dirt bike in the Town of Rib Falls on June 26 when he was struck. The lightning ruptured his eardrums and scratched the lenses of his eyeballs. He had second-degree burns over more than a quarter of his body.

A WKOW-TV report says he was released from the University of Wisconsin Hospital early Thursday morning.

His father, Chris Draeger says the medical team doesn't think Blake will have any permanent damage to his eyes and ears.

The boy's nickname is "Tuffy." His grandfather's wife, Jenifer Wilhelm, says the name accurately describes how Blake has dealt with the situation.

UPDATED: Mon 5:52 PM, Jul 01, 2013

A Rib Falls boy stuck by lightning on June 26 is expected to return home by the end of this week.

Blake Draeger, 8, sustained 2nd degree burns to his head, back, and arms. Both of his ear drums were ruptured and he had scratches on his eyes after he was struck by lightning while riding his dirt bike.

The 8-year-old is recovering at the UW Hospital in Madison. 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. When I saw I'm laying there, I couldn't believe it."

Blake 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."

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."

Chris says he is thankful for all of the well wishes from people all over the county.


UPDATED: Thurs 4:43 PM, Jun 27, 2013

The godfather of an 8-year-old boy who was stuck by lightning Wednesday in Marathon County, says the boy is now out of a medically induced coma.

Dennis Draeger says his godson, Blake, may have vision problems but is expected to be okay.


ORIGINAL STORY: Wed 9:16 PM, Jun 26, 2013

An 8-year-old boy is severely burned after EMTs say he was hit by lightning on Wednesday.

A first responder from the Rib Mountain Fire and EMS tells NewsChannel 7 the boy was riding a motorcycle just North of Edgar when his dad saw the lightning directly hit his son. Since the boy was on the motorcycle his father said he did have on a helmet and chest protector. When the father went over to him, the boy was not breathing. The dad immediately started CPR. He was able to revive him. That's when his father put him in the car and started heading to the hospital and called 9-1-1. That call came in just after 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday as some storms moved through NorthCentral Wisconsin.

The ambulance then met them in-route and took him to Aspirus Wausau Hospital. The first responder says at that point the boy was awake and badly burned. He was then transported to another hospital - possibly in Madison. The boy's condition is unknown at this time.

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