Dulce Caines saw clouds gathering Wednesday and was headed home with a group that was playing in a park when seconds later a bolt of lightning threw Caines, her five-year-old son and a three-year-old playmate to the ground, her husband said Thursday.

Little Kyus Caines was in critical condition drifting in and out of consciousness, at times trying to speak, after apparently bearing the brunt of the sudden lightning strike in the Brampton soccer field, his father said.

“I wish it happened to me instead of him,” Oral Caines said outside the Hospital for Sick Children, where he has been by his five-year-old son’s bedside. “It’s tough seeing him like that.”

Kyus was listed in critical condition, while his 26-year-old mother was in Brampton Civic Hospital in fair but stable condition.

“She’s doing OK,” Caines said of his wife. “She’s a little sore.”

A spokeswoman said the three-year-old boy, who was also rushed to the Hospital for Sick Children, was improving Thursday. His condition was upgraded from critical, which means death may be imminent, to serious, which means he is acutely ill but may improve.

“It’s left me devastated,” Oral Caines said of the ordeal.

Dulce Caines, Kyus, her four-year-old son and a babysitter with the three-year-old boy and another child were in a park Wednesday under what witnesses described as cloudy but not ominous skies, when the lightning strike came. Kyus’ little brother and the others were not injured.