By SYDNEY LUPKIN
What does a 9-year-old want after being struck by lightning and forced to spend three months in the hospital? He wants to cuddle his dog and set up his family's Christmas tree.
"He made me do it the first day I was home on Friday," the boy's father, Roger Hermann, told ABC News. "He can't move his legs, but he was directing some of the ornament placement."
Alex Hermann was on a soccer field in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 26, when a bolt of lightning struck him and stopped his heart. He suffered burn wounds and hypoxia, which is when the brain can't get enough oxygen.
Over the next three months, Alex underwent skin-grafting and wound-closure surgeries, as well as cardiac ablation, which corrects heart arrhythmias, at Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas. He still has a "number of issues" to address over time, but he's improving.
Although the hospital staff was great, Hermann said, Alex became homesick. Hermann added that he and Alex's mother promised that if he worked hard in therapy, they would try to get him home for Christmas.
Alex was also reunited with his beloved dog, a Catahoula Australian shepherd named Spice, who seemed pleased to have her buddy back.
"She sleeps on the bed with him," Hermann said. "She’s been guarding him."