‘She is resilient:’ Brevard County Mom talks daughter’s recovery after lightning strike

Talk to Tom addresses lasting impact of storms

Nearly six months after she was struck by lightning Lori Leer’s mom says her daughter is doing much better.

The Merritt Island teen and two of her friends were hospitalized after lightning struck moments after they stepped outside back on June 10.

Leer’s Mom, Christina Spencer, talked about the heart-wrenching day and the long road to recovery with News 6 Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells on Talk to Tom.

“My daughter was leaning on the tree that actually got struck and it picked her up and blew her about 15 feet away. It caused cardiac arrest; she had some injuries to her neck and her spine and stuff like that... it was a freak accident,” Spencer said.

Lori Leer in the hospital after a lightning strike. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Spencer added that after being struck “Lori was starting to turn purple.”

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“The lightning stopped her heart and started it again at the same time, but the way that it re-started was not sufficient to sustain life so that’s why Lori sustained the brain injury that she suffered, because of lack of oxygen,” Spencer said.“She was rushed to Cape Canaveral hospital because she needed immediate doctor care, she wouldn’t have been able to make it to Arnold Palmer, she needed immediate care... her little heart was beating like a racehorse.”

Eventually, Spencer said Leer was taken to Arnold Palmer where they lived for two months over the summer.

“She is excellent, she is recovering wonderfully, physically she is almost 100% back to her normal self, she is witty, she is funny, she has a great attitude about everything that has happened, and she is resilient as can be, I am very proud of her,” Spencer said.

(Left) Lori Leer in the hospital after a lightning strike, (Right) Leer after finishing her rehab. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

On the latest Talk to Tom, Sorrells explains why Florida is known as the “Lightning Capitol of North America” and talks to another woman who was hospitalized after she and her father were also struck by lightning.

You can watch Talk to Tom every Thursday on the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m. or anytime on News 6+.

You can also submit your weather questions here.

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About the Author:

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.