National Weather Service
National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Lightning navigation bar-top Lightning News Lightning Safety Lightning Science Lightning Victim stories and resources, and medical information frequently asked questions about lightning


Lightning Kills Play it safe poster showing various athletes

Weather-Ready Nation

Lightning Navigation bar, hover for links press releases, multimedia, articles, contacts and more lightning safety myths and facts lightning safety print materials, toolkits, brochures, posters games, puzzles, online science classes and more Video, audio, public service announcements and more NWS lightning free photos games, puzzles, online science classes and more lightning links and partner agencies Lightning safety toolkits for organizations, stadiums, and other venues



Lightning Strike Survivor Stories


Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors, International, (LSESSI) is a support group for survivors of lightning and electrical injury, their friends and families. The group provides information and support to survivors, their families and their physicians about the consequences of the injury and how to deal with it. They also have written materials. You can email the group at lightnin@nternet.net; phone 910-346-4708.

The stories below are submitted by lightning victims and are NOT corroborated by NOAA. If you would like to email a story, please state that NWS has permission to your story on this site. Please include your first name, location, date and any medical impacts.

Name Location/Activity When Struck Medical Impacts
Aaron and Heidi Venango County, PA, in house Fortunately none but lost two expensive computer systems.
Rachel Sierra Nevada, CA, Donner Lake Felt like bones were shaking
Pam Matagorda, TX, Hit while Deep sea fishing Electrical problem in the left part of heart
Gary Connecticut, struck three separate times, once in garage and twice in house Ringing in my ears, joint and muscle pain, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, anger issues, memory loss, concentration problems, PTSD, etc
Justin Woods Canyon, AZ, fishing with family Severe burns, three fractured vertebrae on my spine, can no longer work, bad depression, anger issues, joint swelling, nueroprathy, memory issues, word recall issues, PTSD
Shane St Augustine, FL, on his back deck In a coma.
Zach Florence, SC, Coaching Little League team Ear pain, pain in his hip and back. Legs and feet tingle and get numb, taste buds have changed after three months. Random but excruciating pain from time to time.
Brad Jacksonville, FL, Closing metal-framed patio door Temporary loss of speech, knocked flat, burn mark
David Pinson, AL. In bathroom taking shower. Depression, psychic abilities
Blair Puerto, Vallarta, Mexico: in apartment with doors open Depression, tremors, psychic abilities
John Gainesville, GA: Playing football heart stopped, coma, surgery
Jennifer Millville, NJ: Working as Game Warden Vision, concentration, nausea
Charmaine Belfair, WA: At a concert Intense pain, memory loss, depression
Lisa Naples, FL: On the beach Fatigue, headaches, concussion
Jennifer Pensacola, FL: At home, inside, on Telephone and Touching Stove Memory loss, vision problems, hypersensitive hearing, numbness, and all over weakness.
Rachel Thetford Forest, UK: Hit twice, once outside, once inside No lasting problems.
Peter Northwest New Jersey: Hit while camping with scouts Hearts problems
John Blair, WI: Hit standing in open garage leaning on freezer Headaches, muscle pains.
Thais Nashville, TN: Inside, near open window Neurologic symptoms, watches don't work, increased psychic abilities.
Rickey Location not known: Hit while on cell phone attached by a cord to a charger. Swelling on upper back, chest and neck.
Kevin Point, TX: Hit while getting into car Depression, headaches, pain, numbness, anger.
Geneva Location not known: Hit twice, once indoors, once outdoors Headaches, hand pain, I can feel the barometric pressure more, digestive problems, chronic pain, fatigue, pain in joints
Larry Location not known: Installing plumbing inside house Memory loss, chronic pain, headaches, dizziness, joint pain, hearing loss on one side, inability to concentrate, depression.
Dave East Coast, FL: Working Outside on Dock Chronic pain, heightened startle response, near total inability to sleep, heart palpitations, headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, memory problems, inability to concentrate, loud ringing in my ears, etc.
Jesse Brandon, MS: In open garage working with power tool No severe medical impact.
Nathalie Boston, MA: On sail boat Heart stopped but restarted. Burn marks.
Paul Location not known: Outside working on Mobile Home Short term memory loss, trouble sleeping, pain in joints
Missy Location not known: At home on phone Extrasensory Perception
Angela
  • Hit three separate times:
    • In house, Oak Ridge, TN
    • On corded telephone, Flagstaff, AZ
    • On porch
Severe neuropathy, chronic pain, digestive problems, apraxia, frontal lobe damage, PTSD and short term memory loss
Dana Merida, Yucatan, Mexico: Hit while on phone in house Dizziness, strong headaches, fatigue, Fibromyalgia, toxins sensitivity
Hope Omaha, NE: Struck outside waiting for concert and fireworks Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, migraines
Lorianna Middle Tennessee: Struck sheltering under partially enclosed barn. Save by horse. Burn marks, some depression.
Julie Austin, TX: Struck unloading her store's truck Memory loss.
Dave Orlando, FL: Struck by lightning while out fishing Burns on 60% of his body. Recovered over long period.
Mike

Cape Cod, MA: Struck by lightning on a Cape Cod golf course.

Completely paralyzed. Steadily recovering and resuming normal life.
Cheryl Winston-Salem, NC, area: Home, calling husband on home telephone to warn him about the coming storm. Petit mal seizures
David Blair, WI: 911 Medical Dispatcher on duty in southern Florida Severe headaches, deafness, short and long term memory loss, and insomnia
Robert Moosehead Lake, Maine: Returning home from ice fishing on Memory loss, joint pain, and headaches
Charles Location not known: Hit while having lunch in a park Insomnia, fatigue, memory impairment
Todd Location not known: Inside his garage, repairing the exhaust system of his car Burns, chronic pain, and short-term memory loss

For more information on lightning survivors, contact LSESSI above or Dr. Mary Ann Cooper. If you have a lightning survivor story you'd like to share, please email us