A young boy is in a critical but stable condition after his heart stopped when he was struck by lightning on a beach near Wollongong on Australia Day.
NSW Ambulance Superintendent Terry Morrow said the boy was believed to be in the water at the time of the attack, which caused his heart to go into cardiac arrest and his breathing to stop.
The boy also suffered burns to his chest in the incident, Insp Morrow told Seven’s Sunrise program on Friday.
Surf rescuers patrolling the area began CPR on the nine-year-old with the help of a doctor who was on the beach with her family at the time.
Ambulance personnel and police responded shortly afterwards and paramedics took over CPR efforts.
They were able to restore the boy’s heart rate and breathing before taking him by road to Westmead Children’s Hospital, where he was in critical but stable condition on Friday.
A helicopter was sent from Albion Park with a doctor and a paramedic in intensive care who helped stabilize the boy.
The boy could not be taken to hospital by helicopter due to the ongoing electrical storm, Insp Morrow added.