- Strike stopped Amy Castanon’s heart and gave her a brain haemorrhage
- The 30-year-old, from New Mexico, also suffered broken bones and ear drums
- Husband found her with her clothes were ripped off and gave her CPR
- Family dog Mila was knocked unconscious but has pulled through
- Mother-of-three was put in an induced coma and spent three months in hospital
- Suffers memory problems but is back at work and recovering slowly
Claudia Tanner For Mailonline
A mother who survived being hit by lightning has made a miraculous recovery.
Amy Castanon, 30, was walking her puppy in Bayard, New Mexico, when she was struck and stopped breathing – luckily her husband found her and resuscitated her.
The lightening had stopped her heart and caused her brain to haemorrhage.
Amy also suffered first degree burns, a broken nose and rib from falling, two broken ear drums and her hair had to be shaved where it had singed.
The odds of being struck by lightning are one in a million and left her in an induced coma.
After spending three months in hospital, the mother-of-three is now back at work and beginning to regain her energy and strength.
Mrs Castanon spent three months recovering in hospital after being struck by lightening
The 30-year-old suffered horrendous first degree burns on her legs from the strike
Her seven-month-old puppy Mila was knocked unconscious by the lightening but recovered
Thankfully, the family dog Mila, who was knocked unconscious by the lightning, also pulled through.
Mrs Castanon said: ‘It’s very surreal and at the same time very real.
‘I look at my scars and I don’t feel like a 30-year-old, I feel like I am a much older lady.
‘I have trouble with memory and lose train of thought – they compare it to head trauma.
‘That’s the hardest part, I get tired and I feel like I am not the mum I used to be.’
Around one to three in 10 people who are struck by lightning are killed. Up to 80 percent of survivors suffer long-term injuries.
‘My clothes were ripped off’
Mrs Castano says she’s lucky her husband came looking for her and found her on the ground
She says she is relieved her daughter wasn’t with her when she and her dog were struck
On August 28 last year, Mrs Castanon took her seven-month-old puppy for a walk, a route she often took with her daughter.
She said: ‘I didn’t take her [my daughter] that day, I am so grateful that she didn’t go.
‘I remember it was a beautiful day, a bit cooler than usual and there were clouds.
‘About a mile down the road my husband texted saying it was thundering.
‘I replied saying I was fine and that’s the last thing I remember. Everything else I know is from what people have told me.’
Her husband, David, 28, drove to pick her up but when he got to their meeting place and she wasn’t there, he looked out into the distance and saw a body on the ground.
Mrs Castanon added: ‘A millions things ran through his head, he didn’t want to believe it was me.
‘He raced over and saw me faced down on the ground. He just knew I was dead at that point.
‘I had a baseball cap on it exploded, my clothes were ripped off my shoes were off, there was a smell of smokiness.’
‘It was a miracle’
The mother-of -three pictured with her husband David
Mr Castanon called an ambulance and started CRP until a passerby who happened to be a nurse stopped and took over.
She was taken to a local hospital and placed into a coma for three days.
She said: ‘Everyone thought I was dead, when they heard it was lightning they didn’t think I would survive.’
‘I believe it was a miracle. If my husband hadn’t been there, and if the nurse hadn’t stop or the ambulance have come so quickly. Everything happened to be there that day to save me.’
Mrs Castano says she is recovering gradually although she suffers memory problems
Mrs Castano is now able to play with her three children again James, 11, Isaiah, 9, who has cerebral palsy and Amiya, 7
Lightning is caused by an electrical charge in the atmosphere that is unbalanced.
The movement of rain and ice inside a thundercloud creates an electrical charge, with the negative charge (electrons) forming at the bottom of the cloud and the positive charge (protons) forming at the top.
Opposites attract so the negative charge at the bottom of the cloud seeks out a positive charge to connect with.
Lightning can occur inside clouds, between clouds and from clouds to the ground.
Around one quarter of lightning is from cloud to ground.
When lightning strikes the ground it seeks out the shortest route to something with a positive charge, this might be a tree, a tall building or if they’re very unlucky, a person.
Source: Science Kids
Mrs Castanon said she has been making progress slowly.
‘I do activities with the kids, I try to be a mum. I am back to laundry and cooking, though I tire easily and need breaks.
‘Almost a year on, I don’t want to go depressed.’
Since January she has begun to work out everyday at home and lost the 30lbs which she gained in hospital.
She added: ‘I started with simple exercise around the house, using small weights.
‘I’ve made huge progress, I’ve been as active as I could have been.’
She credits her family and especially her husband for their support.
She said: ‘I know I am a rare person, we don’t expect for this to happen. I felt more hurt for my family.
‘They saw me struggle for a long time.
‘At the very beginning it was very hard for David, he had nightmares, he couldn’t get the picture of me dead.
‘He was living with guilt, and depression but as a family we have been pulled together. It has brought us very close.’
Mrs Castanon said the experience has taught her not to take life for granted.
She added: ‘I was dreading turning 30, I didn’t want to be 30, I wanted to be young but now I am so grateful, to be here, to be 30 to be with the kids. I am so happy to be here.’