A daughter has recalled the moment her mum was struck by lightning while on holiday as she paid tribute to the “happy-go-lucky” physiotherapist.
Daniella DiMambro, 48, was struck by lightning as she sheltered under a tree with her daughter Emily DiMambro-Mosscrop, 18, and 15-year-old son in Croatia on August 20.
The lightning bolt entered Daniella’s right ear. A bystander gave her CPR, but Daniella had also suffered hypoxic brain injuries, which restrict oxygen from being supplied to the brain.
After being repatriated back to the UK, the mum-of-two was kept on ventilation in intensive care in Nottingham. She was constantly monitored and received treatment for a high body temperature and urinary infection.
Sadly, her condition deteriorated and she died on October 7.
Emily told NottinghamshireLive she did not hear or see the lightning until it happened and she believes she was struck to causing her to black out.
When she came too she said her mum was “absolutely out of it” and “she just wasn’t there”.
Emily said: “I thought, ‘this really is not good, I definitely thought she had been struck by lightning. It made sense”.
She tried to call emergency services on her mobile but they did not understand Emily’s English, so she raced to a beach bar to find someone to speak Croatian and summon an ambulance.
Emily said: “I honestly thought she was dead at that point. Five minutes into the ambulance ride, I found out she was alive, which was a relief”.
When Danielle was able to get back to the UK she was taken to City Hospital, Nottingham, to ICU where she spent four weeks.
The family was then given devastating news.
Emily said: “She was never going to be able to move again.
“She remained in ICU. I thought this is ‘just not fair to her’. She would absolutely hate that. If she was in her head, if she knew what was going on. She would hate that.
“The doctors said, ‘take the life support off and breathing tube out’. Because she was really fit, she continued to breathe on her own. At that point, they took the breathing tube out and put her on hydration”.
Daniella died eight days later.
Emily described her mum as someone who was “full of life and energy”.
Daniella had worked across the country – at Newcastle General Hospital, Doncaster Royal Infirmary, and Manchester Royal Infirmary. She was a former sports physiotherapist at West Yorkshire sports injury clinic, Bradford, and a Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist at Queensbury Physiotherapy Practice, Bradford.
She spent a year working for GPs, private physiotherapy practices and Hope Hospital, in her home city of Manchester, – covering A&E, specialist leg rehabilitation and osteoarthritis services. She also covered Manchester Dental Hospital and an increasing number of referrals for jaw treatments gave her the topic that led to her award-winning Master’s dissertation.
Emily said: “She was really caring to everyone. Everyone loves her. She lived and breathed her business. Without her people wouldn’t come, because she wasn’t just any physio, she was amazing, and she just helped everyone and she would get presents from her clients to say ‘thank you’.
“She was a happy-go-lucky person, always going with the flow. I couldn’t wish for a better person to raise me. She was my best friend. I told her everything”.
Senior coroner for Nottinghamshire, Mairin Casey, recorded a narrative conclusion at the inquest. “Her death was due to a lightning strike, leading to cardiac arrest and hypoxic-ischemic brain injury,” she said.