Mum of two struck by lightning as a child, shares her story

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As rare and odd as it may seem, it is possible to get hit by lightning. A mum of two from the Philippines shares her experience.

As beautiful as it is in photos, it is undeniable that lightning, in reality, isn’t all that pretty. Mix it up with its life-long partner thunder, and you get something that’s truly terrifying for both kids and adults!

If you fear lightning from afar, imagine how much scarier it would be having an up close and personal experience with it – or worse, actually being struck by a lightning bolt! Yikes!

As rare and odd as that sounds, people really do get hit by lightning, and one of those individuals is a mum from Cavite, Philippines.

How did it happen? 

Mum Struck by Lightning Shares Her Story

An episode of Salamat Dok aired on June 12, 2018 featured mummy Gemmalyn Dela Cruz from Brgy. Wawa III Rosario, Cavite who was struck by lightning when she was just five years old!

According to her, it all happened one day when the rain was pouring hard outside and her father stood up to switch the lights on. As he plugged in the cord, her father was flung in the air by the impact of the lightning that struck inside their house.

“Parang dumaloy sa kuryente din yung kidlat, parang nahigop, (It was like the lightning travelled through the current, like it was sucked into it.)” Gemmalyn recalled.

There was a blast that knocked them all down, and none except her father was conscious of what happened.

Afterwards, the whole family was rushed to the hospital, and sadly one of Gemmalyn’s siblings who was struck in the nape, didn’t make it. Gemmalyn got burned on the right part of her face.

It wasn’t until they got out of the hospital that she felt something different in her right eye. She said that it started hurting, then she started to see a smoke-like figure that slowly disappeared, and then all at once, her vision in that eye was gone completely.

Others say that she was suffering from a cataract, yet she and her family decided to not mind the problem because they lacked money to pay the doctor.

Life After the Storm

At 14 years old, Gemmalyn finally underwent an operation to fix her eye, however it wasn’t successful. So she had no choice but to continue living with only partial eyesight.

Gemmalyn shared that when she went to school, she was too shy to face her classmates, even missing school on purpose, fearing they would bully her because of her eye.

By the time she was old enough to work, she also had fears that maybe she would fail her medical exams due to her condition.

Now that she has two kids of her own, her children also get teased because of their mother’s condition. That’s why Gemmalyn often chooses to stay indoors and silently deal with the problem on her own.

Pressing on Despite Life’s Challenges, for the Love of Her Family

Throughout the years, Gemmalyn continued to face difficult challenges that came her way.

Sometimes, her right eye would hurt her so badly to the point that the pain would keep her up at night.

“Maghapon na ‘yon, tapos pag hindi ko siya agad nainuman ng gamot idadamay niya itong isa. Sobrang sakit po, parang dinudukot siya (The pain would last all day, then when I don’t take medication immediately, the pain radiates to my other eye. It’s extremely painful, like someone is fishing my eye out of its socket),” Gemmalyn said.

However, despite the hardships that the mum encountered throughout her life, she did not let it stop her from providing for her family.

Currently, Gemmalyn gets duck eggs from Quezon Province and cooks Balut that she later sells. She also prepares other food to peddle in the streets of Rosario.

Truly, Gemmalyn is a one tough mum! Her experience is indeed an unfortunate one, but it did contribute to make her person that she is today – and it shows today that she no doubt exceeds the strength of the lightning bolt that threatened to destroy her future.

You can watch Gemmalyn’s full story in the video below.

Safety Tips for When Lightning Strikes

Incidents of a person being struck by lightning may be rare, yet we wouldn’t want to take any risks would we? Protect yourself and your loved ones indoors and outdoors by following these tips!

Safety Precautions Outdoors

1. Stay at Home

When you have plans to go out and the weatherman tells you that a thunderstorm is on its way, it would be best to opt to stay indoors and reschedule your plans for some other day!

2. Head for Safety

When you’re already outside and THEN the weatherman makes an announcement, head for safety! Look for a safe and secure spot to shelter you from the bad weather.

3. 30-30 Rule

Remember: 30 = safety. The main safety guide when it comes to lightning is the 30-30 rule. After seeing lightning, count to 30! When thunder claps before you reach 30, find shelter and stay indoors for at least 30 minutes after the last roar of thunder.

4. Find Shelter

No shelter? No problem! We’ve got you covered. All you need to do is to crouch low with as little of your body touching the ground because lightning can cause deadly electric currents over 100 feet away.

5. Stay Away from Concrete

Avoid contact with concrete walls or floors because, believe it or not, lightning can travel through the metal within the walls and floors too!

Safety Precautions Indoors

1. Be Wary of Water

Stay away from water because lightning has the ability to travel through plumbing.

2. Electricity Is Your Enemy

Stay away from all kinds of electronic equipment because lightning can travel through their systems as well. Plus, it is also best if you avoid landline phones. Cordless or cellular phones are a-okay!

 

Sources: Salamat Dok (ABS-CBN News), CDC

ALSO READ: Girls dies from electrocution while using earphones in charging phone

Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Philippines