34-year-old Ryan Cross reportedly experienced a lightning strike directly to his head during Memorial Day weekend.
According to Daily Mail, the husband and father of two was hit on the top of his head. The lightning bolt then reportedly traveled downwards and exited his body through his back.
Cross was on a camping trip with his friends riding his four-wheeler when he got caught in a storm near Idaho City. The Nampa resident rushed to find shelter in the woods. Shortly after he started exploring a map on his cell phone to navigate a route to safety, the lightning strike occurred.
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Ryan’s wife, Heather, opened up to KTVB about when she received the phone call letting her know about what happened to her husband. She was initially not given a lot of information except for the fact that he had been struck by lightning.
“I really just tried to stay strong. The drive from Nampa to here (Boise) was the longest drive of my life. I didn’t know what I was going to walk into.”
According to Heather, Ryan Cross was apparently not the only person that was affected by the lightning strike. KTVB reports that his friends were also affected — one of which took a major step towards saving Ryan’s life.
“One was on a four wheeler and just got an intense ringing in his ears. The other had one foot on the ground and one still on his dirt bike, so his leg was hit indirectly with the bolt. Both were checked out by paramedics on the spot and are doing fine. After a brief moment of unconsciousness, one of the men ran down the road to find help, Heather said he met up with some people in an SUV and used ‘OnStar’ to get help.”
Ryan Cross was knocked unconscious by the lightning strike and later rushed to Saint Alphonsus Medical Center. Although he reportedly suffered bleeding on his brain, doctors were able to rule out the possibility of paralysis immediately. The gear that Cross was wearing at the time of the lightning strike was reportedly “hot to the touch and shredded.”
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Pictures show a red scar running down Cross’ torso as well as another red mark on his lower back.
Daily Mail reports that the odds of being struck by lightning in the U.S. is 1 in 700,000 each year. In a lifetime, those odds drop to 1 in 3,000.
Deaths caused by lightning strikes in the United States decreased by over 78 percent among males from 1968 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Heather Cross told KTVB that the doctors are still not sure about the long-term effects on Ryan Cross’ health and overall condition due to the lightning strike. However, she believes that “he is recovering well.”
[Image Credit: Dollar Photo Club]