Lately, there have been several instances of lightning strikes killing or severely injuring bystanders, including the most recent storm in Washington D.C. As a result, one lightning strike survivor reflected on her own close call with a horrific accident that occurred in her own house.
Linda Venuto-Deal of Burlington County, New Jersey didn’t suspect to be in any danger while she was completing some chores around her home on the night of a huge thunderstorm. She decided to throw a load of laundry into her dryer when lightning struck the ground pipe of her home.
That’s when the electricity shot through Venuto-Deal, traveling through her arm, into her face, down her body and out her foot.
Not surprisingly, she remembers every vivid detail of that fateful and near-fatal night on Aug. 23, 1993.
“I was taking clothes out of the dryer and was reaching in, grabbing my daughter’s lime-green T-shirt,” Venuto-Deal told Fox News.
She recalled where the lightning hit her first, entering her body through “my pinkie finger and my ring finger on my left hand.”
Once the lightning strike exited her body, it hadn’t yet completed its path. According to Venuto-Deal, “It hit the floor like a giant checkmark sign,” she said, describing the sound of the lightning bolt that she recalls to this day, “and then it went into the wall. And that’s when it dissipated.”
Despite her vivid memory of the lightning strike, Venuto-Deal felt disconnected from the rest of her body at that moment. She even remembered hearing “faraway screaming,” thinking it was her daughter in the kitchen. But in actuality, the screams were her own.
“It was so disconnected from me that it sounded like it was coming from outside my house,” she said.
Lightning Strike Victim Still Has Scars From Accident
The injuries from her accident were pretty significant. Among the most alarming was the numbness she felt throughout her body.
“I was numb and my two fingers were kind of purple for a while,” she said. “And the side of my face was numb, on that left side.”
For days after the lightning strike, Venuto-Deal felt a tingling sensation where the electricity coursed through her body. Some of the damage has remained with her to this day.
“I still have the scar on my foot, too,” Venuto-Deal said.
Still, the lightning strike victim recognizes just how lucky she is to be alive. In fact, if she had been wearing shoes, her story might have had a much more tragic ending.
“The only reason the doctor said it didn’t kill me was because I had no shoes on at the time — and it had an outlet,” she explained. “I was barefoot and it came out my foot. It didn’t stay inside my body.”