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Last modified: Friday, June 18, 2010 12:10 PM CDT
‘Strike Back 4 Trevor’
By JUSTIN STORY, The Daily News, firstname.lastname@example.org/783-3256
The kind of celebration and happiness surrounding Trevor Fratus at Southern Lanes is usually seen only when someone bowls a perfect game.
Trevor wasn’t even bowling Thursday, but his presence at the Scottsville Road alley was no less remarkable than rolling a strike in every frame.
“I was looking forward to going to some amusement parks this summer, but I ended up in the hospital for some reason,” said Trevor, wryly acknowledging the lightning bolt that struck him May 26.
Trevor, 13, was released Tuesday from the children’s hospital at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
He has begun a battery of physical, occupational and speech therapy in Bowling Green at Bluegrass Outpatient Center.
Stepping gingerly with the aid of a walker, Trevor made his return to the public eye Thursday for a benefit at Southern Lanes in his honor.
Called “Strike Back 4 Trevor,” the fundraiser was an idea hatched by Trevor’s friend, Jeff Ranger, to help the Fratuses pay medical bills.
“I was watching bowling on TV when I got the idea,” said Jeff, a 13-year-old classmate of Trevor’s at Bowling Green Junior High School. “Somebody bowled a strike, and I thought about Trevor being struck by lightning, and I wanted to do something for him.”
Last month, Trevor was at his friend Kyle Gouvas’ house and was in contact with a tree that was struck by a bolt of lightning.
Kyle’s older brother, Alec Gouvas, 18, an Eagle Scout, performed CPR on Trevor until paramedics arrived minutes later.
“I was speechless when I first heard about it,” Jeff said. “Of all the people it could have happened to, I wondered why it happened to him.”
Paul Fratus, Trevor’s father, credits the Gouvases for helping Trevor survive.
“A very high percentage of people (hit by lightning) didn’t live if they didn’t get CPR immediately,” Paul said. “I’m just happy he’s here.”
Trevor’s parents stayed in Nashville while their son recovered, and Rafferty’s in Bowling Green helped provide them with food during their time there, Paul said.
Trevor’s cell phone was destroyed when he was struck, but AT&T donated a new phone to him as well, according to Paul.
Trevor’s recovery involves, among other activities, tests to improve his memory and exercises to strengthen his legs.
He uses the walker to support himself because he is still prone to collapsing.
“We hope that by summer’s end, he’ll be walking when he gets back to school,” Paul Fratus said.
Questions linger in Paul’s mind about how complete Trevor’s recovery will be.
Trevor is dealing with hearing loss in the aftermath of being struck and said Thursday that he doesn’t remember anything from the five-day period before being hit.
Paul said he wonders whether Trevor, a straight-A student, will struggle when he returns to school.
“It’s a scary proposition … we don’t know if he’s going to have issues in school,” Paul said. “Right now, though, I’m just glad he’s alive.”
Family members who have visited Trevor during his recovery comment on his upbeat attitude, saying that his good spirits may have had a hand in aiding his recovery.
“He seems exactly the way he was before he got hit, though he doesn’t remember it,” said Trevor’s cousin Sam Williams, a 16-year-old junior at Bowling Green High School who bowled with some of his teammates from the BGHS soccer team.
Trevor acknowledged his optimism, even as he faces a lengthy recovery.
“My therapists help keep me going when I’m down,” Trevor said.
A portion of the proceeds from games bowled Thursday will go toward the Fratuses, in addition to donations taken by Jeff, his mother and his aunt at the entrance to the bowling alley.