What It's Like to Be Struck By Lightning

Zapped at her desk at work, then her house was hit. She lived to tell.

Photograph: Illustration by John Ritter

Renee Scarberry, 49, retired, Palmetto, Florida

"I got to work around five am and turned on all the computers. My hand was on the mouse, and I felt this jolt all the way to my shoulder. It knocked me backward, and my chair flipped over. It set my computer on fire and melted all the others.

"I ended up with a torn labrum in my shoulder and a herniated disk in my neck. I had some short-term memory loss, and I still have headaches. I’m on disability now. If it starts getting cloudy, I go inside. I never let the kids use the computer when it’s raining. The following year, lightning struck the house while we were sleeping. Just this loud bang. A friend of mine said, ‘You need to move out of the state of Florida. Lightning’s just looking for you.’ ”

Originally published in the July/August 2009 issue of MORE.

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