Corey Dean with his wife and two kids.

Struck by Lightning: Corey Makes a Miraculous Recovery

Jul 2 2020

People often tease about the odds of getting struck by lightning. However, for Corey Dean, he unfortunately defied these odds on a summer afternoon in the yard with friends.

Now, ten years later, Corey has had time to reflect on this experience as well as the life-saving care he received at Bon Secours. Read Corey’s firsthand account about his journey and recovery.

May 30, 2010 was the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. My wife and I went to church that morning. I was helping teach bible study to high school seniors as they prepared to head off to college or the working world.

We left church around noon that day. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital on Thursday. Apparently, I had been a lightning strike victim. It took an entire year and conversations with many friends, fire and rescue personnel, hospital staff and more to piece the following story together.

After church that day, we went over to our neighbors to hang out and have a cookout. We played yard games, including cornhole. As we were having fun outside, a storm came rolling in. It dumped a bunch of rain and had some thunder and lightning, just like a typical late spring storm does. The party moved inside, and we took a tour of the recently renovated bathroom. Then, the guys took a look outside. We decided it was time to head back out to finish up our cornhole game. My team was winning, and we wanted to seal the victory.

Shortly after heading back out under blue skies, there was a bolt of lightning that struck somewhere near the house. I happened to be standing above a phone line that conducted the electricity my way. My friend and I were standing side by side, and he had severe ringing in his ears for days after the lightning strike.

I wasn’t so lucky, I grabbed both ears and fell over backwards. By the time they checked on me, I did not have a heartbeat. My other neighbor is a nurse, and her husband saw the event happen out of their kitchen window. He immediately called for his wife to run outside. She performed CPR until the paramedics arrived. After a total of around 10 minutes and 3 to 4 shocks, my heart restarted with a good rhythm.

I owe my life to my neighbor. She allowed me to breathe until paramedics arrived to get me back going. I was transported to Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, and was cared for there. Eventually I was transported to a different hospital’s burn unit for the burns I sustained.

I am a home builder by profession. At the time of the lightning strike, I was in the process of building many homes as well as a renovation project. Months after the incident, I returned to work and I was touring one of the neighborhoods where I had built many homes. There was one homeowner that happened to be in the yard when I drove by, and she flagged me down.

She was very excited to see me as everyone had heard the story. However, her interests and knowledge surprised me. Turns out she worked as a hospital consultant and had actually reviewed my case at St. Francis Hospital. What are the chances of that!

She began to tell me about her typical evaluations. She often finds small errors that can be corrected and help future patients. In my case though, she found that the staff on duty that day had operated flawlessly in the execution of lightning protocols, protocols that not many were familiar with. She was amazed and remarked that the Lord was looking out for me that day.

Today, I have fully recovered from the strike. I am eternally grateful to everyone that participated in my care that day, especially the hospital staff. They allowed me to continue life with my wife and two kids.

Thank you, Bon Secours, for being there, and for assembling such a great staff.

Learn more about the health care services offered at Bon Secours.

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