Matt Summerill had earlier this summer hiked to the summit of 26 "fourteeners" in Colorado, named for their extremely high altitude, and came back with almost no injury except some bad sunburn due to the high altitude. This was one of the kinds of treks he liked to take between semesters at Columbia University. A few years ago he started this trend by biking across a National Park by himself, on this trek he learned that sunburn and bear mace don't mix, but other than that came back okay. He would in other breaks hike the Grand Canyon, bike and hike in Death Valley, and go about it adventurous but always cautious, coming back okay and ready to take on the next semester.
Last week, having finished the summer semester and completing his study at Columbia, he decided to go with his friends to the Outer Banks. He was in the water near shore, throwing a frisbee with two friends, when a lightning bolt came out of the clear blue sky and struck him in the lower back. His two friends collected themselves and realized Matthew was facedown in the water. They took him to shore and started performing CPR, and the lifeguard rushed an oxygen tank to him right away. Medical services took over soon after and after over an hour of more CPR got him to where they could move him, but not in a HelEvac because by that point the storm had moved in. He's been in a hospital in Greenville, NC since then, in a medically-induced coma, hooked up to monitors and machines trying to keep him stable.
The outlook looks really dire, and we need your prayers at this time. We are unsure of how much every day and every element of care is costing his family but if you know anything about the state of healthcare this won't be cheap. So please, keep Matt in your thoughts and pray the doctors are able to find a way to help him.
Matt's family has been with him in the hospital in North Carolina since the event, and are asking for your prayers. Please consider donating to this fund for Matt's medical bills, and again, please, please, please pray for his recovery. Thank you.