Welcome Home, Dane

ST. GEORGE – There wasn’t a red carpet rolled out but there might as well have been with the welcome response Christopher “Dane” Zdunich, 16, received when he pulled up to Snow Canyon High School this afternoon.
More than 1,000 people, including students, teachers, police and emergency medical units, turned out today to welcome Dane home from the hospital where he spent the past nine days.
Dane and his friend Alex Lambson, 17, were waiting for a ride home last Tuesday on school campus when they were struck by lightning and then flown to the University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Alex remains at the hospital healing from second and third degree burns.
Dane and his parents just pulled into town from Las Vegas today when they stopped by the school for the welcome rally. When Dane pulled in the parking lot, the crowd encircled his car as the band began to play and everyone cheered and chanted, “SCH.”
Addressing the crowd via a mega phone, Dane thanked everyone for the huge welcome back and their support which included a $10,000 donation delivered yesterday by the school’s principal and vice principals who drove to Las Vegas to give the two families the money. The donations, which were divided equally among the families, were collected by area schools during several football games.
 “I’m just overwhelmed with this,” Dane said of the outpouring of support he has experienced. “I can’t believe how many people are here. I can’t believe how much support I’ve gotten. I would have never thought this many people would show up to show their support.”
While remaining in the crowd Dane received hugs, handshakes and high fives as students and teachers made their way through the crowd to tell Dane how grateful they were to have him back.
“Dude, you’re my hero. You’re awesome. Anyone who gets struck by lightning and lives is awesome in my book,” said one of the students to Dane as the two boys pounded their knuckles together.
There were also members of the Emergency Medical Team who made it a special point to come up to the car and give the boy a hug and share words of support. Officers from the St. George Police Department were also on site.
Snow Canyon principal Warren Brooks said of the rally he was impressed with how many students had turned out.
“This is really impressive,” Brooks said. “These kids didn’t have to stay. They could’ve gone home but they didn’t. And it goes to speak toward their character and how concerned they really are about these boys.”
While Dane expressed plans to return to school the following week, Brooks said he doesn’t want to see Dane come back before he’s ready.
“We don’t want to rush him and assume he has gotten the rest he needs then it end that he didn’t get the rest he should have had,” Brooks said. “We’re anxious to have him back but when he’s ready.”
But Dane says he’s ready to come back and get back to a normal life. Although he said this experience has changed him.
“For one thing, I will be a lot more grateful for everything,” Dane said. “I am so grateful for my friends and for the support everyone has shown me and Alex.”

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.