Florida lightning survivors describe ...

Florida lightning survivors describe ordeals

There are 4 comments on the Orlando Sentinel story from Jun 25, 2008, titled Florida lightning survivors describe ordeals. In it, Orlando Sentinel reports that:

Guard: 'God did not speak' It was just starting to rain as Brookshire Elementary School crossing guard Jim Vale, 71, held his stop sign in his left hand.

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David A Smith

United States

#1 Jun 26, 2008
I am one of the lightning survivors Rene mentioned. I have to say that it changed my life forever. I was working as a 911 Emergency Medical Dispatcher in Martin County (Stuart), and the thunderstorm was the worst I have seen in years up to that day and time. Trying to get a man trapped in a burning building is tough over the phone, but when I got hit, I flew 20' across the room in the air, per the accident report; fillings melted; crowns popped off and left ear blown out. Since 1992, it has gotten worse and will continue to do so. "Traumatic Brain Injury with Central Nervous System Damage" is the word. I have vertigo, and vomit when I least expect it, fall down due to vertigo, and memory loss short and long is the worst. I don't remember my mom who died in 1991. My childhood is a blank for the most part. Now, I volunteer from home: for the National Weather Service in Melbourne, and head up the SKYWARN program since 1995 to keep my brain active. Web site is www.gate.net/~ke4uei stop by sign the guest book and the links are educational for the entire family. I have had the Discovery Channel here, BBC, NHK, History Channel, and all local TV Media. I lecture on weather safety, hurricane preparedness, and lightning safety for the Red Cross here. I am a ham radio operator and I worked all 3 hurricanes that got us. Point is, I would enjoy hearing from people and would be happy to answer anything you need. EMAIL: [email protected]
and no matter how I feel, I will answer each one.
Thank you:
David A Smith
Stuart, FL 34997
[email protected]

Tallahassee, FL

#2 Oct 21, 2008
Your ham radio operation job is making your memory worse. You have symptoms of early Alzheimer's, which occurs with severe CNS damage. and should avoid all forms of radio waves, microwaves, and any other form of electricity...have your home checked to make sure its grounded and drive old cars..Ham radio operation is the last occupation you should do.

Newark, DE

#3 Jan 3, 2009
I have a question for you. You see my teacher is making our class do this super huge gigantic project on this book we're reading called Tangerine by Edward Bloor. This one kid dies in the book because he was struck by lightning so my teacher wants us to do some research on lightning. One of the questions we have to answer is:"What do many surivors of lightning strikes report?" Since you're a surivor of a lightning strike I was wondering if there was something in particular that you remember when you got struck. It would help a lot if you could somehow respond. You don't have to respond if you don't want to. It's totally understandable. If you do respond, please respond quickly. My project is due Tuesday and today is Saturday.

Bronx, NY

#4 Jun 4, 2009
I was struck by lighting when I had just turned was seven years old. My older sister and I were taking a short cut through the woods on our way home from a birthday party. My older sister wanted to get home quickly and I could not keep up with her. It was raining and there was thunder but I never saw the lighting. The lightning went through the ground and I was thrown about 20 feet toward my sister who was way ahead of me. My older sister recalls that I was laying face down on the ground and I was not responding to her. She remembers thinking that I was dead. When I woke up I didn't remember anything and I did not know what happened. When I came home I tried to explain to my mother that I fell but my mother did not understand it and my older sister never told her about it. I was always a bright kid. I remember my teacher from kindergarden and first grade telling my mother that I was creative and showing an early ablity to read. However, after the lightning incident, in my second year of elementary school, my teacher's began commenting on my cognitive abilities because I was having difficulty with reading and I was writting my letters backwards and in the third grade I was held back but I never improved in school. I had IQ testing that later revealed that I had a nurological disablity and the school psychologists were asking my mother if there were early sighs of developmental delays but according to my mother I walked and talked at the typical developmental age. This was a very painful road for me. However years later as an adult I have learned to cope with my handicap involving internal neurological visual damage. I have managed to graduate from college and have a career.

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