Call him Zeus. The Incredible Stories of Lightning Survivors

A tragedy occurred last weekend during a mountaineering competition in Greece. 55 athletes were preparing to climb the peaks of Mount Falakro, but a thunderstorm began, and lightning struck a group of people. As a result, a 55-year-old man died, another was injured. And earlier, in early July, lightning struck a family vacationing on Svetloe Lake in Voskresensk, Moscow Region. The spouses were diagnosed with burns of the chest and back, the 9-year-old child was not injured. 

It is believed that only one lightning out of half a million hits a person. And for the average inhabitant of the Earth, the chance of being hit during the year is 1:300,000. Fortunately, most people survive after that, although scars resembling tree branches remain on their bodies for life — the so-called Lichtenberg figures. tells about the lucky ones who managed to escape after they were struck by lightning. 

Not only hit, but also cured< /h2>

The Internet is full of stories that tell not just about survivors of a discharge of atmospheric electricity, but also healed under its influence from one disease or another. It is difficult to verify their authenticity, but it is worth mentioning some cases. 

In 1855, the Englishman Reuben Stevensonplowed a field near the village of Langtoft. Lightning struck the plow, both horses died, but the peasant himself remained alive. Upon examination, the doctor found not only burns, but also a cancerous tumor, which, it seems, had been there for a long time. The doctor began to prepare the patient for surgery, but after a few days the tumor disappeared by itself. The doctor concluded that Stevenson was cured thanks to a lightning strike.

In 1971, as a result of a truck accident, an American Edwin Robinsoncompletely lost his sight and partially his hearing. On June 9, 1980, he was in his yard trying to catch and hide a chicken from the rain when he was struck by lightning. After that, Evdin began to see and hear again, and the case of his miraculous healing became widely known thanks to the popular television shows in which he was invited to participate.

August 17, 1994, lightning struck the house in Oklahoma, where she lived suffering from multiple sclerosis Mary Kleiser. At the time of the impact, the disabled woman was in the bathroom, with one hand holding onto the metal shower faucet, and with the other — by the toilet handle. She woke up in the hospital and was surprised to realize that her legs, which had already lost sensitivity due to illness, again felt touched: it was the doctor who was checking if there had been a fracture during the fall. Two months later, the woman walked on her own and even put on high-heeled shoes.

In pursuit of a record

There are enough stories on the Web about people who have been struck by lightning more than once. The record holder among them is Melvin Robertsfrom South Carolina. In 2011, he hit the headlines with a story that an electric discharge from the sky hit him 6 times. In 2015, journalists again turned to him, and it turned out that during this time lightning struck Roberts 5 more times. It happened in a variety of situations: driving a bulldozer, while working on a lawn mower, while relaxing on the porch of the house. Thus, in the aggregate, lightning struck the “lucky” American 11 times (and this is in 2015, and now, maybe even more), but all this is known only from his words, which cannot be verified.

And here is Roy Sullivan, a conservation officer for the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, now deceased, was officially listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the person who was most often struck by lightning. This happened, however, not 11 times, but “only” seven. For the first time — in 1942, the last time — in 1977. Sullivan, on duty, spent a lot of time outdoors and in the forest. Lightning struck him on the fire tower, while driving through the entrusted area, on the territory of the tent camp and on the lawn near his own house. Once the inspector's toenail was torn off, in another — eyebrows caught fire, in the third — hair on his head, after which he began to always carry a container of water with him. Sullivan lost consciousness, was thrown out of the car, his arm was paralyzed, but each time he remained alive. 

In fairness, we’ll say that not in all seven cases there were witnesses of how lightning hit Roy, nevertheless he somehow managed to convince the Guinness Book of Records commission to give him the title of the person who survived this experience the most times. And the journalists called him the “lightning rod man”.

The T-shirt burned down, the boots were crushed

On July 4, 2020, the Znamya Truda football team, playing in the third-ranking division of Russia, entered the next training session in their native Orekhovo-Zuyevo. Bad weather raged in the city, and local residents posted pictures of the frightening type of clouds on social networks, but the coaching staff did not refuse the intention to warm up — there was no rain over the stadium. 

Among the trainees was a 16-year-old goalkeeper Ivan Zaborovsky. At some point, when he ran into the penalty area with the ball, a flash lit up the sky, and the guy collapsed on the lawn (the moment of the lightning strike was caught on a video that is on the Internet). They immediately ran up to him, the coach gave him artificial respiration and chest compressions. The ambulance arrived eight minutes later, the athlete was taken to the local intensive care unit, and then transferred by helicopter to Lyubertsy. According to eyewitnesses, the T-shirt on him was burned, and Ivan screamed very loudly because of the pain shock, although he himself did not remember it later. 

To save Zaborovsky's life, the doctors decided to put him into a state of artificial coma. It turned out that lightning entered the body through the neck, melting the chain and leaving burns, damaged the lung, and exited through the heel, where traces in the form of dots also remained. His boots were crushed.

The football player soon recovered and got on his feet, and when he returned home, the first thing he did was go to church. “It was creepy and unpleasant, I still can’t hear one ear because of a concussion,” — he told reporters, recalling what had happened. And he admitted that now he has a lot of nicknames that his friends awarded him — Zeus, The Flash, Lightning McQueen.

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She passed through glass and tore out her spleen

The same summer, a more tragic incident occurred in Ingushetia, which, fortunately, ended happily. June 3, a resident of Nazran Salaudi Akhmatovwent out on the balcony in the midst of a thunderstorm. The balcony was glazed, so it would seem that there is nothing to fear. “Stood and looked at the raging hurricane wind and downpour,” — he remembered. At the moment when Salaudi called his wife, he felt a powerful blow that threw him back. He saw profusely flowing blood and felt that something was hanging on his back, and fragments of bones remained on the floor of the balcony. As it turned out later, these were fragments of his shoulder blade. Lightning passed through the glass of the balcony, hit his left armpit and exited through his back, tearing his lung and spleen, breaking his ribs and injuring the lining of his heart. 

The wife who came running, naturally, had a tantrum (“It was very scary, it was some kind of nightmare,” but the victim himself maintained absolute calm and composure, continuing to remain conscious. The ambulance traveled for a long time due to bad weather, the patient with a through hole in the chest was brought to the Republican Clinical Hospital, but the troubles did not end there. The hurricane cut power lines and de-energized the hospital, and the backup power also did not work. The operation had to be carried out by the light of mobile phone flashlights, and it lasted almost 6 hours. “They reconstructed and sutured the lung, the diaphragm, removed the patient’s spleen, and also performed a musculocostal reconstruction with the removal of bone fragments,” — said thoracic surgeon Bashir Aushev, who performed the operation. 

Salaudi woke up only three days later. A week later, he was transferred from the intensive care unit to the treatment department. “Of course, I thought:“ That’s it, I’m finished! — he remembered. — But the doctors, with the help of the Almighty, did the impossible. I am very grateful to them, thanks to everyone who helped me».

It's like a bat in the face 

Miraculously, the hand-to-hand combat coach from Irkutsk Evgeny Aleksandrov also survived by a miracle. A year ago, he was part of a group of tourists in the mountains of the Eastern Sayan. The group was returning after the ascent when a thunderstorm began. With a strong blow, Yevgeny was thrown face down on the stones. “The first thoughts were that this stone flew into my head. I instantly turned off», — he remembers. 

It turned out to be lightning. Her discharge hit the head and exited through the heel, going into the ground. Almost nothing is left of the shoes. Later, doctors will discover that the victim's eardrums have been torn and his facial bones broken. 

A 43-year-old Irkutsk citizen woke up while being carried on a camping stretcher. He admits that for the first time in his life he cried: “There was such a feeling of despair. A healthy man, a coach, an athlete, and here they carry you.

It took a day to get to the nearest settlement, but, fortunately, rescuers were already moving towards — they received a satellite phone call. In the end, Eugene ended up in the hospital. When the doctors did a CT scan of him and looked at which facial bones the lightning had broken, directly hitting his head, one of them said that in terms of the consequences, it was the same as getting hit with all his might with a bat in the face. 

Now Evgeny Alexandrov is again training in hand-to-hand combat. And everything is waiting for him to open some gift. They say that after a meeting with lightning, this also happens. 

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