By: Amanda Dee – Social Media Manager
On April 8 at about 7 p.m., Mark Edmonds, a senior computer engineering major, was tutoring in Kettering Labs when he heard “a piercing, loud crack.” He turned to the window to see what happened and saw “a puff of smoke drifting off.” That puff of smoke was evidence of a force of nature no one could have predicted or prevented: A bolt of lightning struck senior marketing major Sean Ferguson.
Less than a minute later, Edmonds said in an email with Flyer News, a student jumped out of his truck and sprinted to the middle of the C parking lot. He began CPR on Ferguson, who lay on the ground, “not moving at all” and “not responding,” according to 911 caller who reported the incident.
The student who performed CPR on Ferguson had not been trained, another witness said. On his way back from spring break April 7 at the Washington Dulles International Airport, he was waiting for his flight when he came across a simulator mannequin where he spent 20 minutes learning CPR to kill time. It was “a crazy coincidence that helped save Sean’s life,” the witness said.
A siren signaled the arrival of a University of Dayton police officer at the scene a few minutes later, a FN staffer reported. The officer unloaded a defibrillator from his trunk. Students clustered by Marianist Hall, Alumni Hall and Kettering Labs, waiting to see what would happen next.
The sirens crescendoed. Police cars whipped around the corner of Evanston and Kiefaber streets into the C lot, followed by the fire department, rescue squad and an ambulance, according to the FN staffer at the scene.
According to Dayton Fire District Chief Joe Meyer’s statement to WHIO, Ferguson regained consciousness by the time he was transported to Miami Valley Hospital. It was a miracle, Meyer said.
In the span of what Edmonds estimated was 10 minutes, the sirens faded until only the clusters of students standing in the rain remained.
Two days later, more than 100 students, faculty and staff gathered in Chaminade Chapel, according to a UD press release. With glistening eyes, people hugged one another. Ferguson’s mother clutched a tissue in her hand as his father walked to the front of the crowd and thanked everyone for coming. When he looked out at the faces in the crowd, he said he could see their pain and appreciated their support and that he couldn’t imagine having a better son. “It’s not that God and Jesus weren’t with Sean when the accident happened,” his father said. “They were. That’s why he’s here today.”
For updates on the state of Ferguson’s health, check @FlyerNews. If you want to speak with us about Ferguson, email us at webeditor@flyernews.