An Atlanta man is feeling very lucky after he survived a lightning strike that knocked him out of his smoldering boots. As reported by WGCL CBS 46, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, Sean O’Connor set out to do some yard work, but was met by a surprising change in weather. "Just as I picked up the rake, I heard a loud, a loud crashing sound," he told the station. "A few moments later I was picking myself up off the ground. I had the taste of blood in my mouth. I noticed my leg was burning a little bit." O’Connor thought that he had been struck by a falling tree branch, but it was a bolt of lightning. He told WSB Channel 2, “I could smell burnt hair. I felt like I had a bad, a real bad sunburn on my leg."
The power of the lightning strike was so strong that O’Connor was literally knocked out of his boots. “I looked across the driveway and I seen my boots over there,” said O’Connor. “They were no longer on my feet, and one of ‘em was smokin'. At that point I realized that I had just been hit by lightning."
That’s when the Atlanta man, who had been home alone, called his wife and sent her photos and video of the aftermath. In the video O’Connor told his wife, “I think I’m alright.” The man, shaken by the incident said, “This is the boot that I had on my right hand foot.” Interestingly O’Connor noted, “My right foot is fine and it’s actually the left side of my body where I had all the pain.”
Recognizing the urgency, Sean’s wife rushed home and took her husband to a nearby hospital emergency room (ER). “Everybody in the ER kinda looked at me funny,” said O’Connor. “Nobody believed I was struck by lightning and I was still there talking to them.” A lightning strike to the human body disrupts the heart’s electrical system causing an irregular heart beat. O’Connor’s heart rate had dropped to 40 beats per minute, so doctors kept him overnight.
The lightning strike victim was released on Sunday and was welcomed home by friends who had advice and questions for him. With about a 1 in 700,000 chance of being struck by a lightning bolt, O’Connor said, “Everybody keeps telling me that I need to go play the lottery tonight.” He jokingly added, "I've had a lot of friends comment and ask me if I, if I now have the ability to bend spoons with my mind.” To which he smiled and said, “I don't."
- Natural Phenomena
- lightning strike