Lightning strike leaves 12-year-old southwest Ohio boy Ethan Kadish brain-damaged

CINCINNATI - Ethan Kadish was just another athletic 12-year-old enjoying summer camp near Indianapolis. He was showing fellow campers the fine points of Ultimate Frisbee when the lightning struck.

Suddenly. Literally out of the blue.

300 million volts of electricity.

The equivalent of 1,000 tons of TNT.

Dr. Dave Pruett of Cincinnati Children's Hospital doesn't know if the lightning actually struck Ethan.

"He did not sustain any type of entry or exit wounds," Pruett said.

But it left him with an apoxic brain injury.

The blast stopped his heart.

Counselors and paramedics performed CPR and managed to get a pulse.

But doctors say the lack of oxygen to his brain caused severe damage.

Ethan is now trapped in a body that's barely responsive.

"At this point he doesn't have purposeful body movements," Pruitt said.

Ethan is out of intensive care and going through rehabilitation at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Both his doctors and his parents are pleased with his progress, but say he still has a long way to go.

Ethan's parents, Scott and Alexia Kadish, are measuring his recovery as it comes in what they call "Ethan time."

 "What we are learning to accept, which has been very difficult, is to be patient," Scott Kadish said.

They measure the precious time spent at his bedside with stories they know he can hear.

"I talk about what the weather is like outside. I talk about what his brother and sister are doing," Alexia Kadish said.

They are optimistic their son is fighting his way back.

"I feel that over the last several weeks, continuously, I see more light behind his eyes. And just more life behind his eyes," Alexia Kadish said.  "And I'm not sure why I see that, but it looks more and more like him."

Doctors say Ethan is recovering at an 'expected' rate.

Still, they say he'll need care for years, possibly the rest of his life.

His parents have begun a campaign to help with his expenses.

You can donate at

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