Lightning bolt hits inches from Bellmawr woman

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Had the lightning bolt struck a few inches over, it would have hit a South Jersey woman directly. (WPVI)

Had the lightning bolt struck a few inches over, it would have hit a South Jersey woman directly.

But it was still close enough for her to feel it.

"Like a gunshot went off in my ear," said Elyshia McCaughrean.

She said she was coming out of her basement when the bolt struck.

"And all of a sudden I heard this boom," she said.

Elyshia's mother-in-law witnessed it.

"This huge lightning bolt, I've never seen anything like it in my life," said Gail McCaughrean. "It came down to a V and it hit the ground right by her left side."

Elyshia was bent over, frozen in place for more than a minute. She couldn't move and couldn't hear her mother-in-law talking to her.

"I realized I wasn't right. I was starting to get shaky, I was dizzy and my words just weren't coming out - like I couldn't speak," she said.

Elyshia, a mother of three, was taken to Cooper University Hospital to be checked out.

Lightning doesn't always cause noticeable burns or scars - Elyshia has no marks on her - but can definitely leave victims with lingering health effects.

Those include pain, memory loss, and confusion, some of which she's experiencing now.

"I was taking my son to school and I ended up in Somerdale instead of going to Voorhees, so I'm a little off," said Elyshia.

Her husband, John, left the Army in December after two tours in Iraq. He compared her reaction to the lightning strike with battlefield trauma.

"It's almost like shell shock, like when I used to get hit with indirect fire all the time," he said.

Elyshia says her life has been difficult for her young family since John left the service and her brush with death has her looking at things differently

"Don't take life for granted, just because you never know, tomorrow is never promised," she said.

John is also feeling very lucky.

"After this, I think we are going to Vegas!"
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