An Ohio man who was struck by lightning in 2015 said a cross he had been wearing that day saved his life.
Cincinnati resident Sean Ferguson was walking through a parking lot on the University of Dayton campus on April 8, 2015, when he was hit with a lightning bolt from an approaching storm that knocked him off his feet, WLWT-TV reported.
All Ferguson remembers is seeing a flash of light before, in what felt like an instant, he woke up in the hospital.
Ferguson suffered burns on 35 percent of his body. When he came to, his broken jaw had been wired shut and he was wrapped in gauze from head to toe.
“The only plausible thing I could think of was I must have been hit by a car,” he said.
Ferguson said he believes the gold cross he’d been wearing stopped the electricity from going to his brain.
“I was so lucky that I had been wearing a gold cross,” he said.
He was also aided by a good Samaritan who saw what happened.
Witness Matt Lickenbrock began performing CPR on Ferguson immediately after, a skill he had learned just days before.
The two remain friends years after the life-threatening incident.
“He’s my guardian angel. He’s the nicest kid and he’s here locally in Cincinnati,” Ferguson said. “We still get together and I’m still very gracious that he saved my life that day.”
Ferguson’s rehabilitation involved re-learning how to walk and run. To this day, he has lingering problems from the lightning strike.
“Permanently, I have what’s call peripheral neuropathy, which is when the electricity came up through my legs and my body,” he said. “It effected my spine and the nervous system, so I have a pins and needles feeling from my toes up through my knees. It is there constantly and it causes muscle fatigue and balance issues.”
Ferguson is now an advocate for burn victims and stresses the importance of CPR and staying safe from lightning.
Still, he acknowledges how precious life is.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff,” he said. “Life is a gift and it can be taken from you in an instant.”