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It was simply a freak accident say family of school run lightning strike man George Allen as his condition improves

By Colin O'Carroll

Published 17/06/2016

George Allen who remains in hospital
George Allen who remains in hospital
The scene of the lightning strike in Lisburn

The family of a man and his two children struck by lightning have hit out at reports about the freak accident.

George Allen was collecting his young son and daughter from school in Lisburn when they were struck by the lightning bolt during a thunderstorm.

Both the children were badly hurt but are now recovering while Mr Allen, after a long period fighting for his life, is now said to be critical but stable at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

The South East Trust issued a statement on behalf of his wife Sharon and family yesterday.

They appealed for privacy, saying they are still not strong enough to face doing any interviews.

The family also thanked the public "for their kind thoughts, support and prayers".

The statement said: "As you can imagine, this has been totally shocking and devastating for us all.

"Through this difficult time the fact that the children have come through as they have is a blessing.

"They are both home and doing well."

The family said Mr Allen still has a battle on his hands.

"There is still a long way to go for George, however at this time he is the most stable he has been. He has fought hard and continues to fight.

"George would be speechless at the outpouring of love and support Sharon and the family have received.

"The fund that was set up is testament to the community and a clear demonstration of the good in people.

"When people need a helping hand, all have provided it in their own way."

And the family called for all schools to have life-saving defibrillators.

"A 36-year-old hard working man going to collect his two children from school would not have expected this to happen.

"Had it not been for the fast actions of those at Killowen that day, the outcome would have been tragic.

"Parents and teachers had to use the defibrillator on both George and wee Geordie. Wee Geordie responded to its use, however George required some additional treatment.

"It should be standard that all schools have a defibrillator with the hope that they would never need to use it."

The family said the lightning strike was simply a freak incident and Mr Allen did nothing to put himself or children at greater risk than anyone else.

"All stories printed about George so far have no substance.

"George was not on his phone at the time of the lightning strike, he does not have any metal plates and he was not holding an umbrella.

"This was a tragic, freak accident.

"Thank you to all the staff in the Royal, Lagan Valley and Ulster Hospitals for their fantastic efforts and continued care."

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