What was a good day for baseball turned into a tragedy when two 11-year-old boys were struck by lightning June 3.
The Little League game at Lee Hill Park had been called due to weather. The teams were off the field, but Chelal Gross-Matos and Jonathan Colson remained.
The lightning strike killed Chelal and left Jonathan on the ground, unconscious.
According to an article in the Free Lance-Star, Maria Hardegree, an emergency room nurse at Mary Washington Hospital, rushed to Jonathan’s aid when she heard shouts from the field adjacent to where her son had been playing.
She administered CPR before he was taken to MWH. Afterward, doctors transferred Jonathan to VCU Medical Center, where he was treated for burns on his legs and head.
According to the family’s spokeswoman, Beth Girone, Jonathan moved into Kluge’s Children Rehabilitative Center in Charlottesville three weeks later to begin physical therapy and relearn how to eat, drink, walk and talk.
Though his body is not fully functional, neurologically, Jonathan is healthy. The difficulty is the communication between his brain and the rest of his body.
“Until he is able to communicate better, his parents, Mark and Judy Colson, have not told him yet what happened to him,” reads a community flier seeking donations. “Right now they want him to continue to concentrate on his therapy and getting stronger. He knows he had an accident and is (at the hospital) to get better.”
Less than two months after the strike, Jonathan has made significant progress and is able to make voluntary movements, form sentences and walk 100 feet with the aid of a walker.
Once he is strong enough to return home, he may experience up to two more years of therapy.
Jonathan’s family has insurance, but the medical bills are still expensive.
Throughout it all, the flyer reads, their faith in God’s miracles has strengthened.