Student recovering after being struck by lightning on first day of university

Joe Harker

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Student recovering after being struck by lightning on first day of university

Featured Image Credit: Erin Eggler/Facebook

A student struck by lightning on her first day of university is recovering well and could be back in class by next week.

Starting university can be a pretty nerve wracking experience for some, it's often the first time they'll really have to fend for themselves away from mum and dad and it can be a scary leap.

The first day is always the worst, stepping into that unknown as you learn just what it is you're spending the next few years of your life learning about and wondering what the future holds.

The absolute last thing you need on a day like that is to be struck by lightning, though in fairness there's not really a day where it'd climb any higher on your list of priorities.

However, that's exactly what happened to one unlucky student as she was trying to enjoy her first day at university.

The lightning tore a hole through one of Emma's socks and shoes. Credit: Facebook/Erin Eggler
The lightning tore a hole through one of Emma's socks and shoes. Credit: Facebook/Erin Eggler

18-year-old Emma Eggler of Birmingham, Alabama, was about to begin the first classes of her course at the University of West Florida when at around 2pm on 22 August she was hit in the chest by a bolt of lightning and knocked to the ground.

The impact was so powerful that it blasted a hole in her top, blew up her watch and punched a hole through one of her shoes.

Left temporarily unable to walk by the impact of the lightning, Emma had to be helped up by staff and students.

She explained to ABC3 that at first she'd not realised she'd been struck by lightning, instead feeling embarrassed thinking she'd simply tripped up and fallen over.

She said: "My shirt was completely open because of the lightning strike, it melted to me.

"'I was able to get my backpack off but I couldn't feel my legs at all and I was scared I was paralyzed and I was really panicking."

"There were other people around walking, and it was storming, but it seemed like it was farther away. I thought I had just fallen. I didn't realize that I had been struck by lightning. Then, I realized I couldn't move, I couldn't speak and I couldn't do anything."

Emma's shirt was melted by the lightning strike which hit her in the chest. Credit: Facebook/Erin Eggler
Emma's shirt was melted by the lightning strike which hit her in the chest. Credit: Facebook/Erin Eggler

Posting on Facebook, Emma's mother Erin explained that if everything went to plan she could be back in classes on Tuesday (30 August) following a check up with the burn clinic.

Emma said doctors told her she was lucky to be alive, with some suggesting she was so lucky that she ought to go and buy a lottery ticket.

Luckily for Emma, they say lightning never strikes the same place twice so the chances of her getting struck again while at university have got to be very slim indeed.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: News, US News, Weather

Joe Harker
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