A 19-year-old New Jersey man survived a lightning strike that left him motionless for several minutes, his parents told local outlets.
Brandon Darby was practicing sprints on the field of a local middle school near his home in Morris County last Thursday night when he was suddenly knocked unconscious after a lightning bolt struck a soccer post located near him and other children on the field, according to New Jersey.com.
“He woke up wet and confused on the ground,” his father, Jack Darby, told the outlet. “The last thing he remembered was that he needed to get off the field as the storm was approaching.”
A teenager who was nearby said he saw sparks jumping along the field just before Brandon fell, Jack explained.
“Right when I woke up, it felt like something major just happened,” Brandon told ABC 6. “I had no pain, I was a little numb, a little tingly. I don’t know if that was adrenaline or all that electricity running through my body.”
Beth Tunny, who arrived on the field after the incident, agreed that Brandon’s adrenaline was “running pretty high.”
“He said, ‘I was struck by lightning, I passed out, I just woke up,’ you could just tell that his adrenaline was running pretty high and he was just talking a lot and everything, but he went out sitting up in the ambulance,” Tunny told CBS New York.
Brandon was taken to Morristown Medical Center, where he was later released. He is now recovering at home.
“He woke up this morning with a severe headache,” Jack told NewJersey.com. “But other than that, he’s fine. It was an indirect hit and there were no (visible) injuries.”
Brandon added to ABC 6, “Today, it’s like, I’m still a little pinching myself that I got hit by lightning.”
Survivors of lightning strikes can experience cardiac arrest, severe burns, hearing loss and neurological afflictions that may lead to personality changes, mood swings and memory loss.
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The United States experiences about 25 million lightning strikes a year, which kill an average of 47 people annually, reports the National Weather Service. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says men are much more likely to be hit by lightning than women, as they make up some 85 percent of fatalities.
Through 2019, there have only been 10 deaths by lightning reported in the country, the NWS says.