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The 28-year-old woman who was the lone survivor of a lightning strike outside the White House that left three people dead in early August is now speaking out, saying that she is just “really appreciating every moment” and “you really don’t know when it’s going to be your last.”
Amber Escudero-Kontostathis made the comment to Fox5 DC this week following the Aug. 4 lightning strike in Lafayette Park, which resulted in the deaths of James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75 – a couple from Wisconsin – and Brooks Lambertson, a 29-year-old bank executive from Los Angeles.
“That’s what I’ve gained from it. Just really appreciating every moment, every interaction because you really don’t know when it’s going to be your last one. And people say that all the time but, wow, could not be more true,” Escudero-Kontostathis told the station.
The survivor said the lightning struck her on her birthday when she was supposed to be heading to a celebratory dinner.
Escudero-Kontostathis added that her doctors told her she really should not be able to walk or talk due to experiencing a period of time without oxygen heading to her brain, according to Fox5 DC.
Escudero-Kontostathis, who suffered second degree burns throughout her body from the strike, recently got to meet the people who came to her aid, including two traveling emergency room nurses and a Secret Service agent, the station also reported.
“There were a lot of tears and just the most incredible people in the world because they literally rushed towards harm,” she told Fox5 DC. “They didn’t know if you know – I had no idea electricity like that, lightning, can move through the ground. I thought if it hit a tree, it would light on fire, you would run.”
“I have to take time off and take things slow when I’m not used to doing that generally, but with this experience, I just want to go full force and do it all and live it large and hard every day,” Escudero-Kontostathis added.