Electric Lady

I saw my life flash before her eyes in September 2015.

I am a schoolteacher and I was working a girls soccer game at Jack Britt High School. A storm was forecasted, but they weren't expecting anything out of the ordinary.  I was on game duty at the front gate monitoring attendees when the lightning first struck. 

It sent the ball players inside for about 30 minutes. They came back out to play again and in about five minutes lightening hit the transformer that was by me. I'll never forget it. It was like a bomb going off next to me. After that strike, I went in the shed where I was leaning on a metal door. 

It blew all of the lights out on the field, went into the school, blew all of the lights out in the school, took out the computers all the TVs, and it knocked me straight to the ground when it came in the shed.

I never forget the sound. It just sounded like it was a bomb going off. It was almost deafening. Yet, in my vision, was slow motion. 

Within about a minute, my arm, it felt like it was boiling, in my arm. It eventually went to where my feet were tingling.

 Out of shock, I did not seek immediate medical attention. I drove myself and my son home. He didn’t have a driver’s licence at the time, so I automatically got in and drove.

 I honestly thought I was not going to make it. Yet I was alive and later learned that about a good percentage of those who are struck do not live to tell their stories. While more than 400 people are struck by lightening in a year in the US, an average of 10 percent is actually killed by these strikes. That may seem a small percentage to some…however many of those who do survive, the effects are lifelong.

 Following it the first couple of weeks of class, I couldn't remember some of her students' names. There was one instance where I went to call on a student's name and I couldn't come up with it. So, I just turned to the board and, you know, tears rolling – I was trying to keep it away so my students couldn't see it, trying to choke it back. He came up to me, hugged me and said, 'You can call me anything you want.'" 

There wasn't much that doctors could do. All I kept hearing was, “This is the strangest thing I've ever seen.” or, “What you're describing doesn't make sense.” 

Eventually, I found a group of lightning survivors on Facebook. That's when I started to figure out that I wasn't alone. I wasn't the only one having these symptoms. I wasn't crazy. 

It's affected every organ pretty much in my body. On my shoulder is a permanent reminder of that moment that changed my life. I have a tattoo of a lightning bolt with a butterfly. 

Like me, Lightening Strike survivors don’t look like they have a disability, but because what’s happened, they do. I recognize this is all the people I have met when attending a lightning strike survivor conference twice a year. 

There are so many survivors out there that were doing just common everyday things that you don’t even think about. like being on your cell phone, taking a shower during a storm, so I try to educate people as much as I possibly can because it's a life-changing thing.

 I am still fighting to recover from her lightning strike eight years ago. Obviously, the brain damage will never get any better, but I've learned how to do other things to assist with it. I'm not going to let it stop me. If I let it stop me, it wins.


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