The man seriously injured after being struck by lightning in Lisburn last Monday remains “critical but stable” in hospital, the South Eastern Trust has said.
George Allen was collecting his two children from Killowen Primary School when the incident happened.
A defibrillator was used on all three who were then taken to the Ulster Hospital, and the Allen family has called for the life-saving devices to be available in every school.
The two children - seven-year-old Georgia Allen and her five-year-old brother Geordie - were well enough to leave hospital on Wednesday.
In a statement released by the Trust on Thursday, Mr Allen’s wife Sharon the family said they wanted to thank everyone for their kind thoughts, support and prayers.
“As you can imagine, this has been totally shocking and devastating for us all. Through this difficult time the fact that the children have come through as they have is a blessing. They are both home and doing well,” the family said.
“There is still a long way to go for George, however at this time he is the most stable he has been. He has fought hard and continues to fight.
“George would be speechless at the outpouring of love and support Sharon and the family have received. The fund that was set up is testament to the community and a clear demonstration of the good in people. When people need a helping hand, all have provided it in their own way.”
The statement goes on to say: “A 36-year-old hard working man going to collect his two children from school would not have expected this to happen. Had it not been for the fast actions of those at Killowen that day, the outcome would have been tragic. Parents and teachers had to use the defibrillator on both George and wee Geordie. Wee Geordie responded to its use, however George required additional treatment.
“It should be standard that all schools have defibrillators with the hope that they would never need to use it.”
The family has moved to correct what it called stories with “no substance” in circulations - clarifying that Mr Allen was not using his mobile phone at the time, does not have any metal plates fitted and was not holding an umbrella.
“This was a tragic, freak accident,” they said.