June 23, 2014— -- The Atlanta-area man who was blown out of his shoes this weekend by lightning says he’s grateful to be alive but now worries about what the next overcast day might bring.
“Though there’s no scientific evidence, most people get struck again,” Sean O’Connor told ABC News today. “I just wonder how I’m going to feel the next time it’s cloudy and I run out to get the mail.”
But the Coweta County man is also hoping to defy the odds in his favor, saying that he’ll be in line for lottery tickets later today.
“A lot of people have told me I’ve got to be lucky enough to win the lottery,” he said. “I’m going to buy a ticket tonight; everyone’s convinced me to play.”
O’Connor, 30, had picked up a rake on the seemingly clear Saturday morning when, suddenly, he heard a loud crack. “It sounded like a tree falling over,” he said. “It threw me across the driveway and knocked me out of my shoes.”
Disoriented, O’Connor initially assumed he had gotten hit by a tree, until seeing his smoking shoe. “When I noticed my shoes were on the other side of the driveway and I heard the thunder, I realized it was lightning that had just hit me,” he said.
After collecting himself, O’Connor called his wife to tell her what had happened, sending her a cellphone video of the scene when she initially thought he was exaggerating. O’Connor’s wife then urged him to go to the hospital, where he was held for 24 hours because of an irregular heartbeat.
O’Connor was free to return home Sunday, emerging from the potentially fatal incident with lower back pain, a few scrapes from when he was thrown and no indications of permanent damage.
“I look like my normal self,” he said. “It’s hard for people to believe I was struck by lightning.”