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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."




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