Postal Worker Struck by Lightning
September 1, 2005
Fort Lauderdale, Florida--A mail carrier
remains in critical condition at Broward General Medical Center
in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after being struck by lightning, said
local police and hospital officials.
Vanessa Little, 46, a postal worker
for five years, was transferred from North Broward Medical Center
to Broward General after experiencing cardiac problems, Margate
Sgt. Andy Zettek said.
Officials said it appeared the worker
was putting letters in a mailbox in the South Florida Margate community
when lightning hit a tree right next to the box.
When Margate rescue crews arrived at
the scene they found the woman conscious, but unable to communicate.
She was found lying on her stomach, her eyes open.
They rushed her to North Broward Medical
Center in Pompano Beach.
"She had considerable burns everywhere
she had metal on her body, and everywhere that was wet was burned,"
Margate Battalion Chief Ty Vassil said. He estimated 30 percent
to 40 percent of Little's body suffered some kind of burn.
Rescue workers located an entrance
wound from the lightning near the left side of her neck and an exit
wound near her left foot.
Vassil said the strike blew off a long
section of bark from the tree it struck.
"The best thing about this is
[when] she started responding to questioning," Vassil said.
"It's miraculous. It really is. She really took a shot, and
thank God, everything turned out OK. It could have been different."