NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A man who was struck by lightning during Monday’s spring storm is speaking out about the once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.
Jose Campos was struck at around 10:15 a.m. while working at the Roman Stone Construction Company in Bay Shore.
Campos was operating a forklift when he heard thunder and lightning.
Speaking through a translator, Campos said he stepped out of the forklift, and was handling boxes filled with wires, metal and cable when a lightning bolt struck right near him. The lightning traveled about 20 feet across the floor and hit him as he was handling metal cables, Campos said.
After he was hit, he fell to the ground, and was unable to get up. He then passed out.
Campos said he was unconscious for 15-20 minutes before he was able to crawl and then walk very slowly inside – about 150 feet.
“I felt my whole body was numb,” he said through a translator.
Campos said he felt he was very weak and had a lot of palpitations, and he felt as though his organs were shutting down.
He was rushed to Southside Hospital.
“He seems lucky to me,” said Dr. Michael Grossman. “He has no structural injuries that we could detect throughout our testing…. Nothing is broken. There are no burn wounds.”
Grossman said Campos was awake and conscious when he arrived at the hospital.
Dr. Gregory Garra said Campos may suffer from PTSD after the strike.
“When I got into the ambulance, all I felt was a lot of tingling, all over,” Campos said through a translator. “When I got here, they took care of me right away. I was also told that a lot of people, when they went through what I went through, they don’t make it.”
“My whole body was shaking, I was shaking head to toe,” he said through a translator.
Campos urged anyone working in construction with metal or wires to take special care during storms.
“Thank you for everything, please relay this message to all the hard-working people that are exposing themselves to this danger,” he said.
He said his shoulders, leg and toes are hurting quite a lot.
“I am very grateful to god that I am still alive and that I will go forward,” he said through a translator.
Campos is married and has two children, age 10 and 24.
His wife and daughter thought he was killed by the lightning strike, he said.
The odds of being struck by lightning this year are nearly one in a million, according to the National Weather Service. If you are hit, your odds of surviving are about 90 percent.