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“My whole left side is charred”

Amber Escudero-Kontostathis, a 28-year-old activist, was protesting meters from the White House when 6 bolts of lightning struck.

A few meters from the white house, a group of protesters marched to demand the rights of refugees, then suddenly it started to rain.

The storm forced them to seek protection and Amber Escudero-Kontostathis, a 28-year-old activist with the NGO Threshold Giving, ran to a big tree that looked perfect. There he met three other people who were also looking for a temporary roof.

James Mueller, 76 years old was with his wife Donna Mueller, 75 years old, walked through one of the most visited places in Washington in what was a festive trip through your wedding anniversary.



That lightning took the lives of three people, Amber survived.

Brooks Lambertson, 29 years old, was from Los Angeles and I was in DC on businessthe rain surprised him and forced him to run to avoid arriving wet at a meeting.

But then something happened that no one could imagine, ora fate that destroyed everything in less than a second. Six bolts of lightning fell on the group in that moment. He killed everyone except Amber.

That August 4 forever marked the life of the young people that weeks later he still cannot clearly remember what happened that day. The lightning passed through his body, but for some reason he resisted.

The lightning passed through his body, but for some reason he resisted.


The lightning passed through his body, but for some reason he resisted.

At that moment the nurses, Nolan Haggard and Jessee Bontythey were close and acted immediately. They, along with Secret Service agents, performed CPR on the victims.

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She was rushed to the hospital. I was in critical condition he struggled to breathe and was badly burned. “I died and came back. I think I didn’t have a heartbeat for a while. You don’t know when your last day might be.”

She was admitted to the intensive care unit, received immediate treatment from the nurses who they tried to keep her calm and told her everything would be fine. In a short time, he reacted and quickly got out of that critical situation.

"I died and came back.  I think I had no heartbeat for quite some time".


“I died and came back. I don’t think I had a heartbeat for a while.”

“I don’t know why I survived” Escudero-Kontostathis narrated the “Good Morning America” ​​cycle, in what was his first interview since that incident. She added: “I don’t feel good about being the sole survivor, that’s for sure. I’m grateful, but I just don’t feel good about being the only one saved.”

Amber added it on that day she waited for her husband to pick her up after the demonstration to go out to dinner to celebrate his birthday.

At the same time, he emphasized that he thinks about the victims and cannot help feeling guilty. “I just hope I didn’t stop them from talking to them. I hope they weren’t there because of me.” she said through tears.

Amber Escudero-Kontostathis: "I just hope I didn't stop them from talking to them".


Amber Escudero-Kontostathis: “I just hope I didn’t stop them from talking to them.”

On the other hand, he said his road to recovery has been physically and mentally frustrating. “I can’t just stand up and doing things. For example, I have to use a walker.”

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“You wake up and think you can get up and brush your teeth or drink a cup of coffee and I can not, my whole left side is pretty charred”Escudero-Kontostathis said. “Mentally, also a bit frustrated because I want to work and do things.”

“I don’t remember much about that day”

Amber suffers from guilt because she is the only one who got out of that episode alive.


Amber suffers from guilt because she is the only one who got out of that episode alive.

Escudero, who is director of the Threshold Giving fundraising team, said she enjoys the work she’s done and that she can’t work while recovery is one of the most painful parts of this experience.

At the end of the interview, the young woman met again the nurses who saved her life in the midst of the crisis. “If it wasn’t for all of you, I wouldn’t be here.”

"If it wasn't for all of you, I wouldn't be here."he told the doctors.


“If it wasn’t for all of you, I wouldn’t be here,” he told the doctors.

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