N.C. Woman Struck by Lightning Talks About Shocking Experience

Aug. 8, 2013
She felt an indescribable sensation shoot from her left shoulder down into her left foot.

Aug. 08--A sunny afternoon of tubing last weekend suddenly became a nightmare for a group of friends after dark clouds gathered over Hitchcock Creek.

Heather Scott, 24, of Hamlet, was headed down the river behind her husband, leaning her left side into the water to avoid the water he was splashing behind him as he tried to paddle faster to get out of the storm. Suddenly, the group heard a loud crack of thunder, and Scott said she felt an indescribable sensation shoot from her left shoulder down into her left foot.

"I felt a crazy tingling," said Scott. "I can't even explain the feeling. Next thing I know, I can't move my left side and that's when the people I was with pulled me out of the water."

Scott had been struck by lightning.

"My husband and another person pulled me out and we waited on the bank for rescue workers to get to us," said Scott, recalling waiting in the woods for an hour, scared. "Rockingham Police Department and EMS got there on foot and had to carry me out on a gurney. They carried me to an open field on a gator to get me to the ambulance."

Scott, whose left side was tingling, then growing numb, then tingling again, was panicking.

"I was really freaking out. I was scared," she said. "I didn't know what would happen to me. I was always told about lighting but I never thought I would feel it like that."

Scott said she didn't stand on her legs until she got to the hospital two hours after being struck.

"It felt like when you get up and your foot is asleep," she said.

The doctor told her she was lucky that she had been in the water, and that the lightning wasn't grounded, or she would have had lasting impressions on her skin; a tell-tale mark of being struck by lightning.

"It's something I'll never forget," she said. "It hasn't even been a week and I keep going back to it. I can remember everything. We are just blessed and very lucky it wasn't worse. I take a lot of things for granted but I'm looking at things differently now."

Scott said everyone in the tubing group felt the lightning in some way, but she was the only one impacted by the strike.

-- Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at [email protected].

Copyright 2013 - Richmond County Daily Journal, Rockingham, N.C.

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