Lad, 13, Builds Device To Help Mate, Struck By Lightning, Speak Again


This 13-year-old is definitely getting into the Christmas spirit and working hard this holiday season to give his friend his voice back.

Ohio eighth-grader Jacob Smilg has a real passion for electronics and is now putting this to good use to help his friend Ethan Kadish communicate again.

Ethan Kadish, 15, was struck by lightning in 2013 during an ultimate frisbee game along with two other campers at the Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Indiana, the St. Louis Jewish Light reported.


The injury nearly killed Ethan, but the he is now slowly recovering, though he can’t walk, talk, eat or go to the bathroom independently.

However, the Loveland teenager – who suffered a severe brain injury – made a major break through last month and was able to use blinks to say either yes or no.

Sycamore Junior High Schooler Jacob, 13, now wants to add to the progress Ethan has made along that road to recovery by programming a video board to help him communicate.


On Thanksgiving night they tried out the kit to great success and his mum Alexia said that it was the most he communicated in a year and a half. Speaking to WCPO she said: “It changes things on such a fundamental level, in terms of what we see he understands.”

Jacob now hopes to advance his programming and make a simplified keyboard where it would have a lot less buttons but still be able to function.

He currently has some issues keeping the wires in, but is hoping to get a 3D printer for Hanukkah to enclose the circuit board.

What a little legend.