Wed, 19 Jul 2006 12:00 CDT
A 16-year-old girl has survived a direct lightning strike. The gold cross pendant on a chain melted and evaporated from the girl's neck.
Marina Motygina from Ekaterinburg in Russia's Urals went bathing with her friend Anya. She had just got out of water when a thunderstorm broke out, the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily reports.
"Anya was bathing, and I was sitting under a tree," Marina says.
"When it started to rain and thunder struck, I ran to get our things from the meadow. Probably then the lightning struck. I remember falling down and saying, 'I'm unwell.' Then everything went dark."
The lightning struck Marina in the temple, went down through the body and left it near the navel. The gold cross and chain she had been wearing, a Christian symbol, melted and evaporated, leaving deep burns on her neck and chest.
Anya, who evaded the direct strike, fainted too.
"I was running to the tree for shelter, when thunder struck very near, so loudly that I covered my ears, then I saw a flash of light right in front of me... Then I came to myself lying in the grass. I crawled on my elbows to the bag with my mobile phone and called my parents."
A company having a picnic not far away carried the girls into the car and drove them to the hospital.
Marina came to her senses an hour later. Doctors say her survival is a miracle. At first she could not feel her legs, but the doctors said it was just stress, and indeed the next day Marina was already on her feet.
She is still in the hospital, because the deep burns on her neck need constant attendance. The marks will remain on Marina's neck forever.
"Marina is fine, even her heart is working perfectly well, though usually when a person is struck by lightning, the heart stops immediately. It's a really unique case. There are only a few people who survived a lightning strike, and most of them develop telepathic or psychic abilities," says her doctor.
However for now, Marina feels no supernatural abilities. The pain has weakened, and in two weeks she is leaving the hospital.