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Texas father and son killed by lightning strike

Father and son, Grayson (left) and Matthew Boggs, were killed by a lightning strike in Valley Mills, Texas. Matthew died on May 15 and Grayson died on June 16. (Submitted photo)

VALLEY MILLS, Texas (BP) — A 6-year-old Texas boy injured in a lightning strike that killed his father has died. Grayson Boggs, hit by lightning May 15 while holding his father’s hand, died June 16.

His 34-year-old father Matthew had died shortly after lightning struck the pair as they walked home from the school bus before an afternoon rain.

In eulogizing Grayson June 24 at Bosque County Cowboy Church, Pastor Tater Paschal said many worldwide had prayed for Grayson’s complete healing from the anoxic brain injury he suffered in the strike.

“With his passing, this young man united the whole world, from South Texas to the U.K., to Hawaii, we have people coming united in prayer for Grayson,” Paschal said in the service, livestreamed. “How many people can do that in this world?”

Lightning strike deaths are rare, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, having averaged 28 annually in the U.S. between 2006 and 2021.

Paschal described Grayson as “a good kid in an unstable world,” a “dynamo of energy, sunshine and smiles” who loved to play outside, sing and dance and hear bedtime stories from the Bible. He loved to say his nighttime prayers which were often lengthy, Paschal said, because he prayed for many by name.

Grayson’s cousin Stephanie Burris chronicled his health journey on a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $100,000 for the family. Grayson had been on a ventilator at Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center in Temple, Texas, since the injury.

Grayson died just after 5 a.m. June 16, a couple of days after doctors took him off life support and placed him on comfort care. His mother Kayla registered Grayson as an organ donor June 10, Burris wrote.

“Thank you all for your prayers, love and support for the Boggs family during this most difficult journey,” she wrote June 16. “We take comfort in knowing that Grayson is singing in Heaven with his daddy! We love you Matthew and Grayson! Fly High, Sweet Boys!”

The June 24th service was the first of two memorial services for Grayson, the second set for July 1 in Indianapolis, Grayson’s birthplace, where he will be buried. Two services were also held for his father Matthew, and his burial occurred on May 27 in Indianapolis.

The two were killed by a lightning bolt that struck Matthew, traveled through him and struck Grayson. His maternal grandmother Angela Boggs and her sister Rhonda Lawrence started CPR on the two until police and an ambulance responded.

Angela has depended on God to get the family through the ordeal.

“I have a very, very good church family, and then plus my family are all Christians too,” she told Baptist Press in May. “I just keep my faith. I have my ups and downs. I cry when I go to sleep and I cry when I wake up. But I know God’s got me, and I know God’s got my grandkids and Kayla. And we’ll make it through this.”

Paschal assured mourners of Grayson’s eternal life.

“There’s something that I know, I know that I know that I know. And the song we’re going to play here is called ‘Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold This Body,’” Paschal proclaimed. “If ya’ll knew Grayson, you know exactly who this song was meant for when it was written a long time ago.”

Grayson’s family made the difficult decision to remove life support about a week after doctors told them June 6 that his condition would not improve.

“We may not have gotten the miracle we prayed for, but the family is at peace knowing all of the other miracles Grayson can be a part of,” Burris wrote, referencing Grayson’s organ donor status.

The family is accepting condolences at P.O. Box 153, Valley Mills, TX, 76689.