Woman survives lightning strike; says “face felt like it was on fire”

(Julie Karam/KXAN)

FREDERICKSBURG, Texas (KXAN) — What happened to a young woman in Fredericksburg Thursday night has her saying it changed her life. Melissa Holt, 22, survived a lightning strike.

“I’ve worked here with my parents for 10 years, like since we opened,” said Holt, referring to their family-owned restaurant, Alamo Spring Cafe, just outside of Fredericksburg.

Thursday, she was working at the restaurant like any day, and then later in the night was doing work at her mobile home, which is just down a gravel drive from the business.

There, her ordinary day turned not-so-ordinary.

“I still have tingling and numbness in my hands and in my feet. My face hurts. I’ve got a burn in my mouth from where my cavity was filled. My filling actually burnt a hole in my cheek,” Holt said.

She stepped outside to get an animal cage she’d been cleaning. Then she grabbed the metal door to her home.

“It was instant. That was it. Just, ‘Zzzzzzz,'” she said, “And it lasted like three or four seconds, and I could feel pain shoot up into my face, into my eyes, in my fingers, down through my feet and then my face felt like it was on fire.”

Holt says she started feeling nauseous, blacked out, and the left side of her body felt numb.

“I thought I was going to die,” Holt said.

She called paramedics out, they took a look at her, ran and EKG test, and told her she was lucky to be alive.

“I literally was like, ‘God, what did I do?'” Holt said with a relieved laugh, “‘I’m so sorry for whatever just happened. I don’t know what I did but please forgive me.'”

She says she’s now looking at life in a new way.

“It is a day by day thing. You don’t have tomorrow promised to you. I am so thankful to be alive today,” said Holt.

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