Lucky to be alive
The odds of becoming a lightning victim in the U.S. in any one year is 1 in 700,000.
The odds of being struck in your lifetime is 1 in 3,000.
Those are better odds than winning the lottery.
While I’m a city girl, I understand the need for millions of people to wander and explore the beauty of the great outdoors. Waterfalls, mountains, rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, fishing, and more can be great pastimes, but they can come at a cost. We all know that nature can be treacherous and so many things can go wrong. A flip and fall, getting caught in an undertow, wild beasts, and other harmful things that mother nature can reign down on you out of the blue.
On September 5, a family of three from California were caught in a storm. They decided to take cover under a tree… then things got worse.
Read their story.
Chris Lovera was backpacking in the Sequoia National Forest accompanied by his children Aidan and Nadia. Unfortunately the lighting decided to strike the very tree under which they took shleter and all three family members were knocked out.
“After that point it was each of us waking up to a different scene,” Lovera told CBS San Francisco. Twelve-year-old Aidan and nine-year-old Nadia awoke before their father and the children say that they were terrified.
“I thought he was dead ’cause I was just screaming at him and I couldn’t see him breathing or moving,” Aiden said.
“I got really scared,” adds Nadia.
“Both of them saw me in this state where they thought I was gone,” says Chris.
Chris remained for unconscious a few hours and the strike left him with first and second degree burns wrapped around his body, down his back, and all the way to his feet. A rescue helicopter was dispatched to the scene after onlookers saw what had happened. According to Nick Barton, one of the rescuers who witnessed the surviving family, said it looked as if the family had been “blown up.”
Their burns are healing but Aiden and his dad are still suffering from hearing loss. Of the three, Chris sustained the worst of the injuries.
Both of Chris’ kids are now back in school, even though they are still going through recovery, especially Aiden whose hearing may not return. As for himself, Chris hopes to be back at work soon as a senior research technician for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
He stated that he’s grateful that he and his children made it out alive.
“Honestly, I’m trying to acknowledge the fatigue I’m experiencing but the thing I think about most is the outpouring of concern,” said Chris, referring to the care he’s received from his girlfriend Andrea Page, members of the community, and those that came to his and his children’s aid after the accident.
“Really, what I come away with is just the gratitude I have for this set of people who were so selfless and willing to go out in this storm – it was still lightning and raining, and they went out into this and helped us selflessly,” Chris told The Mercury News.
“And it’s just been overwhelming in a good way to see so many people in our community be willing to give. People are innately good at heart.”
Chris is keeping his spirit up and has apparently retained his sense of humor about the incident. He now wears a “Lucky Strike” shirt in honor of the event.
Read more about their ordeal.
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