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Georgia man survives lightning strike

Doctors say the man is now more likely to be struck again.
By Matt Bradwell   |   June 23, 2014 at 12:48 PM   |   Comments

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NEWNAN, Ga., June 23 (UPI) -- A man in Georgia is in stable condition after surviving a direct strike by a bolt of lightning over the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, Sean O'Connor was cleaning leaves from his driveway when lightning struck him directly on his right steel-toe boot.

"Just as I picked up the rake, I heard a loud crashing sound," O'Connor described to Atlanta CBS affiliate WGCL.

"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. My leg hairs were singed. I could smell the burnt hair. I looked across the driveway and I could see my boots over there. They were no longer on my feet, and one of them was smoking. At that point I realized I had just been hit by lightning."

Disoriented and alone, O'Connor called his wife upon realizing what happened -- but she didn't believe O'Connor until he sent her photos of his smoking shoes and bleeding tongue. Upon accepting the reality of the situation, O'Connor's wife urged him to go to the emergency room, where he was met with more skepticism.

"Everybody in the emergency room looked at me funny," O'Connor told ABC affiliate WSB-TV. "Nobody believed [I] was struck by lightning and still there talking to them."

Doctors treated O'Connor for an irregular heartbeat, as the lightning had caused his heart rate to to drop to 40 beats per minute, before delivering jarring news:

"Out of all the lightning victims, [the ER doctor's] seen the majority of them end up getting struck more than once."
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