( 4UMF NEWS ) Teen Struck By Lightning:
As a teen went into the refrigerator during the Memorial Day storms here, lightning struck her home and shocked her.
“I don’t remember a lot from that day,” said Macie Martinez. “I do remember being in the most pain I had ever been in.”
Martinez’s dad, Anthony Villarreal, heard a loud noise.
“As soon as she opened the door, that’s when everything just went crazy. I heard a loud bang, like an explosion,” said Villarreal.
The electricity traveled through her body.
“I think the most scary thing I can remember, is not being able to let go of the fridge whenever it was happening until my dad pulled me off,” Martinez said.
“She couldn’t walk,” added her father.
On the family’s GoFundMe page, which is seeking funds for medical costs and home repairs, Martinez’s mother wrote that Martinez was diagnosed with secondary electrocution and temporary paralysis.
According to the post, Martinez “is now able to walk and is ok but says she still feels ‘tingly’ and is exhausted most of the time.”
Doctors are monitoring her liver and kidneys, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
Generally, inside a home is one of the safest places you can be during a storm.
“That’s actually a good place to be because there is all that wiring in the house and copper pipes,” said Dr. Brian Skrainka, director of the pediatric emergency department at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center.
Skrainka treated Martinez and said there are several things inside your home you should avoid.
“You want to steer away from metal frame doors, you want to stay off the telephone because that’s the most common way to get shocked, stay away from appliances, don’t be in the bathtub, get away from water,” he said. “And don’t lay on a basement floor.”
The Central Texas home suffered some exterior damage. Dripping Springs is about 24 miles west of Austin. Inside, all of the appliances were fried and the wood floor bubbled up. They didn’t realize until they returned from the hospital that Villarreal was injured as well.
“That’s when I noticed I had a burn on my left arm,” he said.
The family is grateful to be able to share their experience and hope what happened to them will raise awareness on what not to do during a storm.
The chance of being struck by lightning is one in 700,000. According to the National Weather Service, 23 people died after being struck by lightning in 2013.
Martinez’s doctor knows of several patients like her who have been struck inside their own homes, including another teen injured while mixing something in a blender.
Doctors plan to monitor Martinez to make sure her arm and her memory improve.
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