The secret society of lightning strike survivors
A lightning strike doesn't give you powers, but it does leave you scars "beyond the physical realm." After the sudden and intense drama of getting hit by lightning, Shana Williams Turner suffered from devastating symptoms that wouldn’t go away. It seemed like no one could help — until she found out there were many others like her. In this fascinating story for Narratively, James Walker tells Turner's story, exploring how she found comradery in the most unexpected of places. "When lightning hits a person, it sends 300 million volts of electricity across the body in three milliseconds. The current flows externally, disrupting or short-circuiting the body’s electrical systems, such as the one that controls the heart. Cardiac arrest is the most common cause of death from a lightning strike. Brain damage from blunt-force trauma caused by the shock wave is also common. The jolt can severely burn skin, and in some cases it etches an intricate web of scars on the body that resembles the form of a lightning bolt itself, known as Lichtenberg figures, which fade within days for reasons unknown. Most people survive because the lightning hits the ground nearby or passes through a taller object such as a tree, or, in Shana’s case, the transformer."