LAS VEGAS — Two teenagers struck by lightning outside their Utah high school have improved and could soon be discharged from a Las Vegas hospital, their doctor said Tuesday.
The boys were recovering from burns and were no longer on life support, said pediatrics chief Meena Vohra of University Medical Center.
Dane Zdunich, 16, was improving more quickly and could be sent home in the next few days, while Alexander Lambson, 17, will require skin grafts for burns on the front of his body, Vohra said.
"They were very critical when they first came in but gradually they've improved," Vohra said. "Dane has progressed a little faster than Alex, but he's catching up."
Lambson has burns on his face, neck and chest, covering about 15 percent of his body surface.
Zdunich did not suffer as many burns because it seemed the lightning traveled through him from the right side of his head to his feet, where he has five exit wounds.
"They look sort of like a bullet hole or something," said Chris Zdunich, his father. "They're about the size of a dime or nickel, and they're healing well."
Both teens were brought to the regional trauma center because they required care from its burn unit, Lambson's mother Kaleen Talley told reporters during a news conference.School officials administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation after lightning struck the teens after classes Oct. 5 at Snow Canyon High School in Santa Clara. The school is near St. George, Utah, about 120 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Talley and Leslie Broderick, the mother of Zdunich, said the boys don't remember the lightning strike or how they got to the hospital, where they have been visiting each other.
The families have set up a blog to provide updates about the teens and to receive messages of support.