Teen struck by lightning in the chest on first day of university: 'I couldn't move'

·News Editor
·2-min read

A young woman in the United States is recovering after reportedly being struck in the chest by lightning on her first day of university.

The lighting strike ripped through her clothing, fried her electronics and left her momentarily unable to move or speak.

Doctors said 18-year-old Emma Eggler is lucky to be alive after the bolt narrowly missed her heart, but left her with fairly minor injuries on what was the first day of semester for the University of West Florida student.

Emma says other students reacted quickly to hep her after she as hit by the bolt.
Emma says other students reacted quickly to hep her after she as hit by the bolt. Source: Facebook/Erin Eggler

Her mother, Erin, has been chronicling the aftermath of the shock incident and her daughter's recovery on Facebook.

"Our baby is alive by the grace of God. I’m not kidding when I say it’s a miracle. The doctors have said she’s lucky to be alive," she wrote Tuesday (local time).

"The lightning struck her in the chest and it melted her shirt onto her body. The lightning traveled through her body and excited her foot."

Speaking to local media, the young woman explained how other students came to her aid in the seconds after the frightening moment.

"There were other people around walking and it was storming, but it seemed like it was farther away. Next thing I knew, I woke up on the ground," Ms Eggler told local station WKRG.

"I didn't realise that I had been struck by lightning, I was more embarrassed because I thought I tripped and fell on the ground ... Then I realised I couldn't move, I couldn't speak and I couldn't do anything."

The lightning reportedly struck her in the chest and exited through her foot
The lightning reportedly struck her in the chest and exited through her foot. Source: Facebook/Erin Eggler

While Ms Eggler lost her Apple Watch which was left fried, she was ultimately lucky to escape with some burns on her feet, arms, body and neck.

Her mother shared photos on social media showing how the lightning strike had ripped open her shirt as well as tearing apart her left sock and shoe.

On Saturday, the "emotional" mum shared another update after her teen daughter was released from hospital following three days of care.

She thanked friends and family for an outpouring of support, saying they will still need to follow up with the burns clinic next week.

"Emma is doing great! Better than we ever could have expected," she wrote.

"If you don’t believe in miracles talk to this child. You might change your mind," she said in a separate post.

She expects to return to classes this coming week.

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