National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Hit While Getting into Car


My name is Kevin Millard. My wife, Tina, and I live in Point, TX. I was hit by lightning on Oct 23, 1997. I got home from work and my wife Tina and I were about to leave for a football game at the school. I figured I'd get the umbrella out of the car because it was sprinkling. That was the last thing I remember before the incident occurred. Just as I stuck the key in the car door lock, my wife heard a loud BOOM!

After she had a moment to recover from that, she looked the direction I was standing and no longer saw me standing there. She looked farther back, behind the two vehicles, and saw me lying there on my back, eyes wide open, hand clinched, and convulsing. She got out of the truck and tried to get some sort of response from me by yelling at me, but I didn't respond. She then started to perform CPR on me and still got no response for several minutes. She finally got a response from me and ran in the house to call 911, and came back outside to get me into the house.

I was trying to move but my left side was not cooperating so Tina started pulling me towards the house, although she had to stop in the middle of our yard to catch her breath. That's when I came too, with my wife leaning over me and trying to explain to me what had just happened. I was trying to get up, but needed her help getting to the front porch.

My wife says she helped me to the porch and then into the house. She says I started complaining about my feet hurting, so she got me on the sofa and pulled my shoes off. She noticed that both my socks had burn holes in them, about the size of a quarter. She chose not to pull my socks off. Shortly after that, the Rains County sheriff and then the ambulance arrived. I was taken to Presbyterian Hospital in Greenville, TX . Once stabilized, I was transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

I was in intensive care for 26 hours and spent 8 days in the burn unit. I had severe burns on both my feet and in the back of my head. I also had a bad burn on my left thumb, left big toe, and first, second and third degree burns on several other areas of my left side. I was off work for approximately 10 weeks while my burns healed and I went to physical therapy. I have kept a full time job ever since the injury, however I feel as though it is getting increasingly more difficult to perform at the same level I used to.

I have seen several doctors, pain specialists and neurologists. Apparently, some discs in my spine were injured, and they suspect that's why I have really bad headaches all the time. I have chronic pain in my neck, back, legs and feet. I have constant numbness in my arms and hands. I have poor focus, poor problem solving skills, poor decision making skills, and my memory loss also seems to be getting worse.

My wife says I have changed dramatically, I get angry at the drop of a hat, and I have no patience with our children or anyone else for that matter. I no longer want to be social as I used to be and am very depressed most of the time, although I will not admit this to friends or family members.

Lessons to Learn: You are not safe anywhere outside during a thunderstorm. Inside a vehicle is a safe place if all the doors and windows are closed and the vehicle has a hard top. Avoid touching metal in the car. Pull over in heavy rain or thunder. You could be temporarily blinded by the rain or lightning.Heavy rain is dangerous to drive in for many reasons.