Girl who nearly died in lightning strike graduates - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Girl who nearly died in lightning strike graduates from high school

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A girl on the brink of death when lightning struck her on the first day of her senior year, made it back to life, and graduated with her class Tuesday.

It is a moment she fought for.
 
"I thought I'd be in the hospital, in a wheelchair, in rehabilitation, but I'm walking, across the stage today," Tierney Bourage said before her graduation.

As she walked home from the first day of her senior year, a bolt of lightning stopped her heart, and knocked her unconscious.

"She had the look that I'm no longer here, and that was devastating to me," Barbara Turner, her mother said.

Doctors weren't sure if the Southwind High School Senior would ever walk or talk. Nine-and-half months and countless hours of rehabilitation later, she made it.

"I remember what my mom said, she said, 'God, brought you through this, and he's going to be with you the whole way, so don't give up now,'" Tierney said.

The road hasn't been easy. Tierney says the toughest part about rehabilitation was learning how to walk, because her legs were stiff and sore when she stood on them.

Now she says she doesn't have any pain, but walking is still difficult because her vision is still blurry. Doctors tell her they expect her vision to make a 100 percent return.

While she's learned more lessons than any high school could teach, she is not graduating with the accolades she expected to before the lightning strike. As a junior, Tierney tutored students in math and was an honor student at Southwind High School.

"I worked my hardest, I took honors classes, but I guess I'll get my reward from God," Bourage said.

As Tierney's name was called at Tuesday's graduation ceremony, the crowd erupted in a standing ovation.

"It's awesome that God actually does keep his promises," Turner said.
 
The first responders who saved Tierney's life came to the ceremony, and got to see her graduate.
 
Tierney plans to spend at least the next year continuing rehabilitation. She then plans to go to college and become a neo-natal nurse.

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