CREATED Oct. 5, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct. 5, 2012
LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Tonight, an emotional interview with the mother and father of a boy struck by lightning in Southwest Florida. Four in your Corner's Mike Mason went to Tampa to speak with the family where their son is fighting for his life.
A lightning bolt struck 11 year old Jesse Watlington in the chest during football practice. And tonight both of Jesse's parents are telling us how they are coping with this tragedy.
Alda Watlington's whole life changed when she got that phone call from her son, Jesse's, school.
Alda Watlington: "She told me he got struck, struck by lightning. I said well he's breathing and she said well, they're working on him. And I thought, ‘No that cannot happen, that cannot happen’."
Chuck Watlington: "It stopped his heart, stopped his breathing, stopped his pulse immediately. And it was a miracle from God to survive that."
Jesse's father, Chuck, says by the time they arrived at the school , police and paramedics were swarmed around Jesse's limp body.
Chuck Watlington: "I could only watch from like 15 to 20 feet away. There were just so many people around I couldn't even get a good look at him. I couldn't touch him until we got to Health Park. It was such a, it was just such a…..”
Alda Watlington: "It was hard to swallow, it was hard to comprehend, I don't really think it sunk in until yesterday."
Now Jesse's at Tampa General Hospital in critical condition. His family is by his side remembering how full of life he has always been. Praying he comes out of his coma.
Alda Watlington: "There has never been a day that when I drop him off at school he doesn't say 'Mommy I love you’.”
Chuck Watlington: "I talk to him, I kiss him and tell him…..”
This family holding onto hope as their little boy with a big smile fights for his life.
Alda Watlington:: "Our lives our torn apart right now, we have our daughter and we have to keep it together for her."
Chuck Watlington "Our lives revolve around our children. Everything we do is for them.”
Today a trust fund was set up for Jesse's medical bills. You can donate by contacting McGregor Baptist Church at (239) 936-1754.