A YOUNGSTER has been left fighting for his life after being struck by lightning whilst he was playing football.
Ronnie Wraith was turning out for Hertfordshire county team in a football tournament at Sele School, Hertford earlier this month when he was tragically struck down.
The 12-year-old was struck in the chest by a lightning bolt with just four minutes remaining in the game, sending him into a cardiac arrest which stopped his heart for 30 minutes.
Placed in an induced coma and receiving 24-hour care at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridgeshire, Ronnie’s family launched a fundraiser to help support his rehabilitation, raising over £49,000 so far.
Since the devastating incident, support has been widespread for Ronnie’s fight with youth teams across all age groups holding a minute’s applause for him prior to matches.
Even Ronnie’s beloved West Ham United chipped in, broadcasting a get well soon message for the footie-mad youngster on their screen on matchday.
Ronnie’s mum, Emily Wraith set up the GoFundMe page to help raise money for Ronnie’s family as well as to aid his ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.
On the fundraiser’s page, Emily wrote: “On Monday 2 October, Ronnie was lucky enough to do be doing what he loved, playing football while representing his district of Hertfordshire.
“With four minutes left of the game to be played, the unthinkable took place with Ronnie being struck to the chest by lightning! This resulted in a cardiac arrest and his heart stopping for a 30-minute period.
“A huge thank you for the members of the public who administered CPR prior to the arrival of the emergency services who were able to take over and give this boy a second chance of life.
“Ronnie is currently in an induced coma with the prognosis still unsure, he is receiving 24hr care from an amazing team in PICU.
“The road to recovery is still unsure but will definitely be a long hard road for Ronnie and the family.”
Despite initial uncertainty, Ronnie’s family issued an encouraging update last week, which reads: “Firstly, we as a family are completely overwhelmed [by] all the generosity, support and messages over the last two weeks.
“Ronnie is now out of the induced coma and is responding well with minimal pain relief.
“At present Ronnie is up on his feet and is being encouraged by the doctors to walk unaided a few steps at a time.
“The rehab that Ronnie now requires is a long road ahead, but the small steps he has made already are truly remarkable.
“We will update you over the next few weeks with his progress. Thank you for the support, it’s been incredible.”
So far, the GoFundMe page has raised over £49,000 in donations.
To donate to Ronnie’s cause, please visit: https://gofund.me/d4e8667e