Stumbling upon Facebook, I found Andrea Cummins. A thirty-one year old living in Cork, Ireland who loves lightning despite being struck twice in her life. Below is a quick Q&A between myself and Andrea.
Q: When were you struck by lightning and how old were you?
A: I’ve been hit twice, indirectly both times. The first time I was about 6. The second time was about 5 or 6 years back.
Q: What were you doing when you were struck by lightning?
A: The first time, there was no clouds, no rain, just lightning. I was on my bike when lightning hit right between the handlebars. The second time – My dad was on his way home from work and I was getting lunch ready for him. I was watching the lightning out the window as I was filling the kettle. Just as I turned on the tap, a bolt of lightning hit really close. It hit the water mains and threw me back a few feet. I ended up on my butt near the living room door.
Q: Was a storm broadcast for that day/evening/night?
A: There wasn’t a storm broadcast the first time. The storm was forecast for the late afternoon but decided to start early, the second time I was struck.
Q: Do you remember feeling anything that you can recall?
A: When I was struck on my bike, my arms felt like I had pins and needles and then started to get very hot. Used to get sharp pains in them for months afterward. When I struck in the kitchen, I felt the pins and needles again and my arm got really hot and started to burn. For days it looked like I had major sunburn on my right arm.
Q: If you had to pick one memorable occurrence of that day what would it be?
A: The most memorable thing from that time was sitting on the bike and watching the tires soften on the bike and seeing the handlebars turn black.
Q: Were you fearful of lightning prior to strike? Are you fearful of it now?
A: I wasn’t afraid of lightning before that and I love it still.
Q: People often underestimate lightning and do things that compromise their safety or the safety of others. What would you say to these people?
A: To those people who compromise their safety, I’d say, lightning is not something to be taken lightly, it’s very dangerous and can seriously injure and kill. Then again, I can’t really preach as when there is a storm, I’ll still go outside to watch it. Though I do have a healthy respect for it.
Are you a lightning strike survivor? If so, contact me to tell your story.