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LIGHTNING STRIKER; Dad Stephen survives bolt hit while watching son play footie.

Byline: ALISTAIR GRANT reporters@dailyrecord.co.uk

A DEVOTED dad is lucky to be alive after he was struck by lightning as he watched his son play football.

Stephen Paterson was knocked unconscious after the bolt hit his umbrella.

As first aiders raced to the 41-year-old's side, other parents ushered Stephen's son Corey, 14, and his young teammates away.

Things looked grim as Stephen was rushed to hospital in an ambulance.

But remarkably, the dad, from Bannockburn, Stirling, was recovering at home yesterday - just 24 hours after his brush with death.

The drama happened in Blackburn, West Lothian, as Corey and his pals from Milton FC under-15s took on Blackburn United amid heavy rain. Andrew Meechen, 19, was the first aider on the scene.

He said: "We saw the lightning come down and it had hit behind him. The flash lit up the whole pitch and then we saw the man fall.

"It was hard watching it. It was unreal trying to figure out what had happened.

"I went over and took his jacket off and put him in the recovery position and then we used smelling salts to try and bring him round. We were just trying to keep him talking to us and keep him breathing normally.

"He was having difficulty keeping his eyes open and talking but his breathing was fine.

"The guy's son was pretty scared about his dad. The other parents were really good and took him away and were looking after him."

Blackburn coach Davy Jones said: "We just saw the light flash and the guy fall. There was panic because all the kids are only 14. When the ambulance came, I helped take the stretcher across the park."

Writing on Twitter on Sunday night, Corey said: "Hope my dad gets better. What's the chances of getting struck by lightning, man?" St John's Hospital in Livingston confirmed that Stephen had been discharged yesterday after being kept in for observation.

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 27, 2014
Words:336
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