Follow-up: Man who had sight restored by lightning

FALMOUTH, Maine -- Four years ago Edwin Robinson was blind. Then he was struck by a lightning bolt and his sight miraculously was restored.

What followed for Robinson, now 66, and his wife, Doris, of Falmouth, was a whirlwind of publicity and appearances on national television. But these days they lead a quiet life, always grateful for that bolt from the sky.


On June 9, 1980, Robinson was still blind and partially deaf, the result of injuries suffered in a 1971 truck accident. That day he walked into his yard during a thunderstorm to get a pet chicken out of the rain.

As he stood under a tree, a lightning bolt knocked him to the ground and left him dazed. That night he began to see again and found he didn't need his hearing aid anymore.

The incident was reported in a local newspaper and the couple became the center of a publicity firestorm. There were television appearances and the phone rang so much they took it off the hook to sleep.

Film crews from as far away as Japan came to their home and they were bombarded by the press -- especially during a visit to New York to appear on ABC's 'Good Morning America.'


'It got to the point that I was almost hysterical because they were firing questions at us so much,' said Mrs. Robinson.

Mrs. Robinson said they 'never earned any money' from their fame, although they did earn $100 plus expenses to appear on some shows.

Robinson says his vision remains '20-20 plus,' his hearing is fine and he is still glad he went out into the yard during the storm.

About a year ago a Canadian cable television station proposed to do a show on him, but the Robinsons decided not to.

'They never put things right,' Robinson said. 'They always dramatize things ... and the contract said they could do anything with it.'

Mrs. Robinson said she would like to see a movie about their lives, 'not just the lightning,' but also about problems they overcame when her husband became blind and nearly deaf.

'I think people would get an awful lot of encouragement at what we went through,' she said.

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