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April 2, 2014 1:04 am

Jewish Camper Struck by Lightening Returns to School After 9 Months (VIDEO)

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Ethan Kadish. Photo: jointeamethan.org.

A Jewish teenager returned to school nine months after being struck by lightning at a summer camp and suffering a brain injury that left him unable to walk or talk.

Ethan Kadish, 13, now attends Loveland Middle School in Ohio for a few hours a day, three days a week and is making promising progress since his accident last June, ABC News reported on Monday. The teenager, now wheelchair bound, attends class in a special education room and is regularly visited by his siblings, friends and former baseball teammates.

“It’s been more amazing than we could have imagined,” Ethan’s mother, Alexia, told ABC News. “We initially thought any sort of schooling would be homebound initially.”

Nine months ago, Ethan and two other children were struck by lightning as he was teaching them how to play Frisbee at a Jewish summer camp near Indianapolis. Ethan’s heart temporarily stopped and he suffered a hypoxic brain injury as a result of oxygen deprivation.

The teenager spent five months in the hospital and 10 days after being released he was re-admitted due to a life-threatening gastrointestinal perforation. Following surgery, he returned home again in January. He now eats through a tube in his abdomen but breaths on his own.

Two of Ethan’s friends, Cooper Smellar and Ethan Missar, are finding it hard to accept what happened to their pal.

“It breaks my heart,” Cooper told ABC9. “It’s hard to see him like this. We really have to get used to this too. It’s going to be weird not having him on the team again.”

Three weeks ago, caretakers suggested Ethan go back to school in the hope that the familiar faces and rooms would help his brain heal, Britain’s Daily Mail reported. Ethan’s mother, who left her copy editing job to care full-time for her son, said that since returning to school, Ethan now sleeps better and is laughing  a lot.

“He even accesses the sad side… He’s accessing the emotional areas of his brain,” she said. “We’re hopeful that it indicates that he’s becoming more present.”

Members of the suburban Cincinnati community of Loveland have been assisting the Kadish family by cooking for them every week and helping cover their steep medical bills. Even with their insurance coverage, the Kadish family’s medical costs may top $250,000 annually, WCPO reported.

“No one plans for financial catastrophe to occur” Alexia said. “You save for vacation or kids’ college expense. You say, ‘For a rainy day’ [but] this is a beyond for a rainy day.”

Donations to help the Kadish family can be made here.

Watch a video about Ethan below.

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