Man Struck by Lightning: “The Pain Was Phenomenal”

Eric Ibell of Lawrence, Mass. says he thanks God to be alive after being struck while putting trash in a metal bin Saturday

A Lawrence, Massachusetts, man described the agony of being struck by lightning during Saturday's storm as unbelievable.

"The pain was phenomenal," said Eric Ibell, who was trying to beat the storm when he was putting trash in a metal bin outside the North Andover coffee shop where he works. "It felt like an electric current restarting my heart. It was just unbelievable pain."

A bolt of lightning struck Ibell, travelling from his left thumb, through his shoulder, down his left side and out his left foot, bringing with it a pain he had never felt before.

"I got hit here," he said, pointing to a mark the bolt left behind on his thumb. "They say I was struck by 128,000 volts."

The lightning strike sent him flying off the ground, crashing into the windshield of a parked car about 15 feet away, his shirt on fire.

A bystander called 911 and paramedics came to his aid.

Monday, the feeling has started to return to his left arm.

The only visible wound is the burn mark on his thumb, but tissue in his shoulder is burned internally.

It's a small price to pay, he says, for something that could have been much worse.

"The chances are one in a billion, and to be that one who's struck and live, I thank God," he said. "I thank God to be alive."

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