BAYARD — The Castañon family in Bayard received a miracle recently, and it has come in the form of survival.
Amy Castañon along with her German Shepard Mila survived a lightning strike
"I know I'm one in a million," Castañon, the mother of three, said. "I thank God that he has given me this opportunity to stay here with my family."
It all started Sunday, Aug. 28, when Castañon decided to take her normal walk with her dog from Bayard toward Vanadium. Sometimes she takes her daughter with her as well, but on this particular day, it was just her and Mila.
"It was a really nice day," Castañon said. "It was overcast and there were some clouds out, but it was a good day to walk. So me and my dog took off and about a mile out my husband texted me that he could hear thundering so I turned around so that I could come back."
Castañon stated she sent a snapchat about her and her dog going out on the walk and then she texted her husband David Castañon that it wasn't bad out where she was at and it was fine. As she was getting closer to home it started to rain. She called her husband to come and pick her up. He responded that he would meet her at the Hideaway Lounge at the end of Bayard.
"My husband left to go pick me up and he pulled into the Hideaway and I wasn't there," Castañon said. "He then saw me in the distance and I was laying on the ground along with our dog."
David Castañon raced toward the scene and when he arrived he found his wife unresponsive. He immediately began to do CPR and it began to rain heavier. Just then a woman stopped who happened to be a nurse and took over the CPR so that David could call 911. Paramedics arrived and transported her to the hospital.
"He (David) said I came back at the scene and they took me to the hospital," Castañon said because she can't recall anything of what happened. "I don't remember any of this. I had to look at my phone and see what we texted and talked about. I woke up in the ICU in El Paso three days later and I was so foggy about what had happened. All I remember was seeing my families faces and I had no idea where I was at and what had happened. It took me a while to comprehend everything."
Amy Castañon said that she didn't see a flash of light or hear a boom or anything. The day is completely lost to her. She is beginning to remember bits and pieces but can't really remember the day itself. She broke her nose from the fall to the ground and had to get stitches on her eyebrow. Both of her ear drums busted and her hearing isn't very good now. The lightning exploded the baseball cap she was wearing and she had a spot burnt in her hair. The lightning went through her chest and body through her left side and went out her ankle. She has minor burns in those areas.
As for Mila, she was taken by animal control to a vet where she received full care and recovered fully.
"The Puppy Dog Ranch paid for my vet bill," Castañon said. "Mila is fine. She came home within a few days and seems active and alert. She actually seems pretty normal. I think she just got the shock of it."
Castañon has been very busy trying to patch up her daily life. She has a son who is disabled and requires a lot of care and along with her needs with doctors appointments and her rehabilitation, it's been a crazy time in her life.
"I'm going to have to follow up with physical therapy because I lost a lot of muscle strength," Castañon said. "Just walking takes a lot out of me. I am now able to walk short distances on my own. My muscles cramp and my body is just trying to repair itself."
Her family was really worried about what kind of person she was going to be when she woke up, and Castañon said that she is able to talk and there isn't any permanent damage.
"I still have to follow up with with my ear, nose and throat doctor and I will have to visit with my primary care doctor to discuss other medical needs and referrals," Castañon said. "I need to see an eye doctor because I have blurry vision and am getting migraines that are apparently associated with that. Along with my optic nerve swelling that I will have to follow up with a neurologist. I am hoping the doctors can figure everything out and find the right kind of treatment for me."
With the near-missed tragedy, the Castañon family has gotten closer since the incident. There has been a change in the attitudes and the way they live their day. Castañon still sees this as a life changing experience and she said that she hurts for her husband and children.
"We've become closer and I'm actually more hurt for my family than myself," Castañon said. "To see me the way they did is probably the hardest thing any family could go through. But, my husband and kids have been strong and my parents and in laws have been very supportive. I am grateful."
A gofundme account has been established for Castañon and there was $5,289 raised of the $6,000 goal. To donate visit https://www.gofundme.com/2mtaz78.
Castañon also said that the Cobre Consolidated School District has set up Links for Amy which is a support chain to raise money for her. Information: Bayard Elementary School, 575-537-4040.
"It's been really nice with the district coming together to support me and my family," Castañon said. "Everyone has been concerned and helpful. Our family is truly grateful for all the support and generosity we have received. I want to express our gratitude."