A Florida landscaper died Saturday after he was struck by lightning while tending to a lawn last week, his family announced.
Julio Cesar Lopez, 27, passed away at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach after spending four days on life support.
Lopez was mowing a lawn in the Tymber Trace section of New Smyrna Beach last Tuesday when lightning struck.
His cousin, Luiz Vasquez, told Fox 35 the two of them were finishing up their last job of the day before storms were expected to roll in, and Lopez was working next to a palm tree.
“The lightning struck and he was right next to it,” Vasquez said.
It is believed that the lightning traveled down the tree into the ground, then struck Lopez’s foot.
Lopez had stopped breathing, so Vasquez and a neighbor began to perform CPR.
According to the description of a GoFundMe campaign, Lopez suffered extensive damage to his heart, which stopped beating for about 20 minutes, resulting in his brain and other organs being deprived of oxygen until paramedics were able to resuscitate him.
“Only a miracle can bring him back,” his brother Pascual Lopez wrote prior to his death.
Family members previously said Lopez was given only about a 10% chance of survival.
“We still have hope,” cousin Francisco Vasquez told ClickOrlando.com last week. “Hope is the last thing you lose.”
Lopez moved to Florida from Texas in February to join the family’s lawn care business, but his parents still live in Mexico.