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Man tells how he was lifted off the ground by lightning bolt

Rhett McLeod is collected by paramedics after being hit by lightning in his Koongal home. His four-year-old daughter Mylee gave him her doll to take to hospital with him.
Rhett McLeod is collected by paramedics after being hit by lightning in his Koongal home. His four-year-old daughter Mylee gave him her doll to take to hospital with him. Contributed

GETTING hit by lightning is a million times worse than a static shock from a shopping trolley, says the man who survived a strike in North Rockhampton yesterday.

Rhett McLeod was picked up and thrown to the ground by the power of the bolt during Thursday's  freak storm.

He said had "pins and needles" all over his body.

"That's the best I could explain it," he said as he recovered at his Koongal home today.

"It did hurt a fair bit but it happened so fast, and pretty much straight away I was paralysed and couldn't feel anything, so the actual being hit part I only felt for a split second.

"It was enough to lift me up and knock me over. I weigh over 100kg."

Fortunately for Rhett it wasn't a direct hit - the lightning hit the metal frame of the doorway he was holding, so the force travelled through him and knocked him to the ground.

"Both my wife and daughter were screaming and crying," he said.

"My wife tried to come over to me and see if I was okay, but she said as soon as she touched me she felt like static through all her fingers."

He said they were both "amazing" through the ordeal, and he was proud of his daughter who stayed with him as his wife called 000.

He also praised the ambulance crew for treating him and keeping everything calm.

For the full story see tomorrow's Bulletin.

Topics:  editors picks, lightning, lightning strike, rockhampton storm




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