Emma Eggler Florida college student survives after lighting bolt strikes her on her first day of class at the University of West Florida.
An Alabama teenager cheated death after being hit in the chest by lightning during her very first day of classes at the University of West Florida. The freak accident left her with serious burns along with causing her Apple Watch to explode.
Emma Eggler, 18, had only moved to Pensacola over the weekend and was struck on as she made her way to class on campus Monday, she told WEARTV.
‘I did not feel anything at all, really. I just woke up on the ground,’ the freshman old WEARTV.
‘I was more embarrassed because I thought I tripped and fell on the ground. Then, I realized I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak and I couldn’t do anything,’ she told WKRG.
A senior who rushed to help, Nelson Libbert, recalled telling the teen how strong she was — and how she was having ‘a tough first day.’
‘A lot of doctors told me I should buy a lottery ticket because I was so lucky,’
Doctors later told Eggler that ‘the lightning went through really close to my heart,’ and she likely only avoided a heart attack because of her young age.
‘My shirt was completely open because of the lightning strike. It melted to me,’ she told WEARTV.
The bolt caused second-degree burns on her chest and stomach, as well as her wrist after her Apple Watch exploded.
The electricity traveled right through to her left foot, leaving holes in her sock and shoes, she said, revealing her initial fear that she was paralyzed was fortunately unfounded.
‘A lot of doctors told me I should buy a lottery ticket because I was so lucky,’ she told WEARTV.
Her mom, Erin Eggler, told the station, ‘We definitely feel like God performed a miracle for her. That is the only explanation for why she is still here with us.’
Emma Eggler has been released from the hospital and has regained movement in her legs. She is expected to return to classes next week.
The U.S as a whole sees about six deaths by lightning through June 22 in an average year.
The odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are less than one in a million and only about 10% of all lightning strike victims do not survive, according to the CDC.