The Difficulty of Finding Medical Help for Survivors Who Have Been Struck by Lightning

Longreads

“Finding a doctor who knows anything about a lightning strike is next to impossible,” says Tamara Pandolph-Peary, 46, who was struck by lightning in August 2010, in the parking lot of the Springfield, Illinois, Men’s Warehouse where she worked.

Following her accident, Pandolph-Peary forgot how to use everyday objects, like a potato peeler; she could no longer get from point A to point B in her hometown; she suffered migraines and fatigue; she tripped over her sentences or suddenly lost the ability to understand what other people were saying; she was often dizzy and off-balance; she had tremors and chronic pain, and would unpredictably lose control of various body parts; and every now and then, when her nerves were on fire, even the slightest touch was painfully intense.

“I struggled with the ‘Why me?’ initially,” she says. “There was a time I was angry. There was a time I really…

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