National Weather Service
National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Survivor Story: Paul

Outside Working on Mobile Home

 

I was doing some outside work on June 26, 2008. It had rained on and off most othe the day, no thunderstorm just rain. The last shower had just ended so I went back to work hanging a shutter on the front of a moblie home.

I had my left foot on a ladder and my right foot on the tongue of the home. At approximately 5:20 p.m., I was facing the home when I saw a brillant light in front of me and felt something coming through the ladder and through me. I had a 18 volt cordless drill in my hand. I saw what looked like a electric arc going from the tip of the drill point I was using into the side of the home. I felt the ground shake under the ladder.

Other people that were there onsite told me afterwards they heard a deafing bang, then someone yelled. They said they ran towards me. The lightning strike was about 25 feet from where I was working. I never heard the bang or the yell. I am deaf so I wouldn't hear either one.

I went and got checked out by a doctor. He shook my hand and said he was proud to know me because he had never met anyone who had survived being struck. Since this has happened my short term memory is mostly gone. I'm having problems with my legs and joints not wanting to work very well. I tire out very quickly even doing minor tasks, then when I try to sleep I only sleep for a few hours. My temperment has changed a great deal compared to what it use to be. I can feel thunderstorms when they are many miles away. I can feel the lightning that's in them when they pass by. I have done some research on how I can deal with some of the issues that has come about since being struck but haven't had much luck.