The chances of lightning striking a person are roughly 1 in 240,000. In a The Doctors’ daytime exclusive, meet a husband and wife who were simultaneously struck by lightning … while she was pregnant! Hear their incredible survival story.
Kendra and Ian recount the terrifying experience that resulted in an emergency c-section to save their unborn baby's life.
"I think we still get some muscle spasms down the side that [the lightning] went through," Kimberly says. "I get a lot headaches here and there — more than I had gotten before — but other than that, I think we're really lucky, and I feel great."
First responders believe that a car beside the couple absorbed most of the current and may have saved their lives.
Survivors of lightning strikes typically incur third-degree burns at the electrical current's entry and exit point. Brain damage, short or long-term memory loss, eye damage and ruptured ear drums are other common side effects.
"The big concern, in addition to brain injury, is that electrical current can upset the electrical current in your heart, causing fatal arrhythmias or true cardiac arrest," explains ER physician Dr. Travis Stork. "A lightning bolt can have up to a billion volts of energy."
If you're outside and you notice an electrical storm approaching, avoid trees or tall objects that could potentially transmit the energy of a lightning strike. The safest course of action is to go indoors immediately and steer clear of anything that may conduct electricity.
• How lightning affects the body
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