Girl struck by lightning returns to school for her senior year - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Girl struck by lightning returns to school for her senior year

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Tierney Bourage said the moments she missed most while in the hospital were just being a high school senior.

"When I was in Atlanta, I didn't think I would be able to come back to school because I missed all those days," said Bourage.  "But they said I could come back."

Lightning struck Bourage as she walked home on the first day of her senior year at Southwind High School.  Doctors said the jolt stopped her heart for at least 20 minutes and she should be dead.

Vice principal Chris Hardiman remembered the day vividly.

"When you find out it's one of the best students you have in the building, it's mind blowing," said Hardiman.

Principal Susan Vaughn rushed to the hospital and said she went from being Bourage's principal to being her prayer warrior.

"I got on the phone and told as many friends as I could," said Vaughn.  "And I told them what happened and I said, 'start praying.'"

Bourage spent five weeks in a coma and then endured five more months of grueling rehabilitation.  She eventually regained the ability to talk, and then to walk.

"It is a miracle to see her here today," said Vaughn.  "And it is ... just wonderful to have her back."

Not only is Bourage back in school, Vaughn said she is going to graduate.  At the end of her junior year, the honor student was only two credits shy of graduating.

Before the lightning strike, Bourage tutored students in math.

"You can still see that in her, what a good student that she was and is," said Vaughn.  "She keeps up with us well, answers all our questions, and constantly grinning."

Bourage is also looking forward to her senior prom.  Senior Rodrick Tennil was the first to ask her.

"The best in the school," Tennil said of his date.  "I said, 'are you going to prom?'  She said, 'yeah, but I don't have a date.'  I was like, 'I'll go with you.'"

Bourage said this school year she has learned something textbooks cannot teach.

"Trust in God, he'll bring you through it," she said.  "He's the only one that can bring you through it."

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