Man struck by lightning speaks out - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Man struck by lightning speaks out

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Story Megan Boatwright

Eyewitness News Reporter

The Channel 3 Storm Alert Team reminds us all the time that lightning can strike, even when the skies may not look threatening.

The odds are bigger than one in 600,000 that it'll happen.

Stephen Heard suffered burns on his legs, hands and feet.

He says there wasn't a dark cloud in the sky while sitting in a metal chair on his porch.

"The sky was typical, something like it is today," says Stephen Heard.

"I was getting some wrinkles out of the pool, dad was watching in the chair," says son Taylor Heard.

The father and son say what happened Monday couldn't have been more unexpected.

"One of the biggest bolts of lighting I've ever seen came down," says Taylor.

"It felt like an explosion had gone off under me," says Stephen.

Taylor Heard was standing feet away from his father and says the flash was blinding.

"I jumped up and told my son that I'd been hit," says Stephen.

What followed were ambulances, paramedics and a trip to the hospital for Stephen who suffered burns on his body.

"Your muscles just seem to turn into a big knot. Everything is just real tight," says Stephen.

After running tests throughout the night, Heard and his family returned home. He says from now on he'll be switching from metal chairs to wooden ones.

"There will be no more metal chairs at this house," says Taylor.

But the truth is Heard says there's no way he could have planned for what happened.

"I wish I could think of something to tell viewers that might help them in a similar circumstance but that was such a freak occurrence," says Stephen.

The burns that Stephen Heard suffered are called flash burns.

If you look that up it's described as a burn suffered from excessive exposure to thermal radiation.

He still has marks on his legs but he says a lot of the swelling and burning in his feet already subsided.


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