Golfer Struck By Bolt 9 Years Ago
ORLANDO, Fla. — A man whose heart stopped beating several times after he was struck by lightning on a golf course nine years ago now spends his time educating others about the dangers of Mother Nature.
Michael Utley, 57, was hit by a bolt of lightning at the age of 48 and was a brain-dead quadriplegic.
“I have no memory of it. Everything is what I have been told. I have no memory of that day or the 38 days afterwards that I spent in ICU,” Utley said. “They blew the horn and 10 seconds later there was this bang and I was smoking, falling to the ground dead.”
Utley said the next thing he remembered was waking up paralyzed.
“During the 38 days in ICU, I was brain-dead quadriplegic. They told my wife to pull the plug. They told her I would never walk, talk, do anything like that. When I woke up in rehab, I was fully paralyzed,” said Utley, who added that he still struggles with his balance. “If I walk down a hall, I will bounce into both sides of the hallway. My balance is shot.”
Florida is the lightning capital of the United States, and July is the deadliest month for lightning strikes.
Utley said he spends time trying to educate others on the dangers of lightning in Florida.
“It is not rocket scientist stuff. Look at the sky. If you see it, flee it. If you hear it, clear it. It is simple,” he said.
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