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'It's amazing she's alive:' Sister of lightning strike victim auctioning off steer to raise money

Posted at 9:07 PM, Aug 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-03 23:27:22-04

An Illinois family is trying to move forward after a lightning strike seriously injured their 22-year-old daughter and sister

Brittney Prehn was struck while attending the Country Thunder music festival on July 20. Her younger sister Brooke is trying to raise money for Brittney's medical expenses by auctioning off her steer at the McHenry County Fair this weekend in Woodstock, Illinois.

The Prehn family has camped out at the fairgrounds since the girls were children. But after the accident, Brook says this year is a little different. 

"Normally we have animals in every barn so it's more chaotic but this year, there was enough stress going on we just brought the steer," said Brooke. 

Her steer, Dude weights 1,010 pounds. Brooke planned on using the money from his auction for college. Now she plans to put all of the money toward her sister's medical bills. 

"I just want to do whatever I can really," she said. "This is what I can do." 

Brittney's dad George says the lightning strike hit his daughter above her ear. And the cell phone she was talking on at the time, may have saved her life. 

"The cell phone did help her by letting the power out of it another exit way," said George. "It went in and directly turned before her organs. Amazing, the guy up there was watching. It went down and out both ways and [left] a hole in the ground." 

George says they identified her by her tattoo. She suffered serious hearing loss and now has to use a motorized wheelchair to get around, though George says she's been able to walk by herself to the bathroom. 

"It's amazing she's alive right now," said George. "She has a strong heart. Otherwise she wouldn’t have made it." 

Brittney still has at least two more surgeries ahead of her, and her family says the medical bills are piling up. 

The auction for her steer will begin at Noon on Saturday, August 4 at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock. 

You can also help by donating to her Gofundme page.