None of us knows when life will take an unexpected turn. But what really matters is how we react to that kind of situation.
Linda Walker, 12, went to North Carolina-based Camp Pisgah in the summer of 1967. Given her family had just moved to North Carolina, Walker didn’t have any friends, but hoped sharing a tent with some fellow Girl Scouts would change this.
But then, Mother Nature’s worst came out of nowhere.
Walker was struck by lightning inside the tent.
The other girls had fled the tent, freaked out from the lightning.
But one of them noticed that Walker wasn’t with them. She went back to the tent to find the 12-year-old unresponsive.
This Girl Scout got the attention of a nearby adult, who attempted to revive Walker until help arrived. The girl was then rushed to the hospital; besides being rendered clinically dead at one point, she survived.
And she had one person to thank for it.
“Had she not done that, I wouldn’t be here today,” she told National Public Radio.
Unfortunately, Walker was never able to get the name of the girl who saved her.
“Being 12 years old and then getting struck by lightning — I didn’t get her name and I’ve always regretted that,” she said.
Years went by without the identity of the other Girl Scout being found, though Walker would constantly tell others of the girl that saved her. When people hearing it would ask if Walker thanked the girl, she would always say no; it would continue to be in the back of her head for decades.
It wasn’t until 2017 where Walker would get a chance to thank her.
Walker, now in her 60s, wrote a blog post online about her buddy from 1967, which was shared on Facebook by a Girl Scout page. And miraculously, someone close enough to the situation saw it.
The buddy’s sister.
Through NPR, Walker and her buddy, Laurie Luna, were able to finally connect on the phone, after all these years.
“Are you as nervous as I am?” Luna asked her at first.
And Walker was too, but it didn’t stop her from telling her what she had wanted to say for decades.
“I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t had a buddy who came back,” Walker said.
Luna claims she had never found out if Walker had survived.
Luna had always wondered what had happened to her buddy; she would even tell her husband about Walker. And now, the two will be able to stay in touch, and catch up on the decades they missed out on together.
According to the National Weather Service, the odds of being struck by lightning in one year are 1 in over a million. Even if it is an extremely random occurrence, it’s crucial to know that one must seek medical attention immediately if struck by lightning.
Despite being young at the time, Luna knew what to do to help save her fellow Girl Scout’s life. And since Luna didn’t run away, Walker was able to live long enough to be able to thank her.