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Man speaks out after being struck by lightning on Long Island

Posted: 11:39 AM, Apr 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-17 17:54:00-04

BAY SHORE, N.Y. — It's a miraculous story after Monday's massive storms — a Long Island man was hospitalized after being struck by lightning, but is now recovering and talking about his traumatic experience.

Jose Campos, 48, fought back tears Tuesday as he recounted his near death experience.

The father of two was wrapping up work on a forklift at Roman Stone Construction during Monday's downpour when a bolt of lightning struck the ground about 20 feet from where he was standing.

At the time, Campos was holding a metal cable and says he felt his body heat up as the electricity ran from the cable through his body.

Through a translator he said he felt as though his feet were stuck to the ground.

"I didn't feel none of my legs, nothing on my legs, totally numbness."

The construction worker said he lost consciousness for what felt like 15 to 20 minutes before crawling and limping his way back to the company where coworkers called an ambulance.

Despite the long odds of being struck by lightning, about 1 in a million, Dr. Michael Grossman, Chief of Trauma Surgery at Southside Hospital said it's not the first time he's treated a patient who was struck during a storm.

"We see a couple of patients a year usually in the summertime when lightning and thunderstorms are more common," Dr. Grossman said.

Dr. Grossman said most patients suffer burns from the electricity or blunt force trauma from impact after being thrown. Although he said some patients never make it to the hospital.

"Patients do die at the scene," Dr. Grossman said. "More often then not, in some of these cases that we get the patient is in cardiac arrest."

Which is why Campos said he considers himself very lucky and warned other construction workers not to make the same mistake.

"I am very grateful to God that I'm still alive and that I will go forward. And I will just continue to say the people who are in construction that they work with electrical wires and any sort of construction to be careful because there is lightning and we're exposed to all of it."