East Texas mother and daughter struck by lightning, survive - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

East Texas mother and daughter struck by lightning, survive


A mother and daughter were struck by lightning at the same time and survived. It happened in Gilmer on Saturday. The two were in the living room of their home when they were hit.

They thought they were seeing a light to Heaven. There was a boom.

"It sounded like the house had completely blown up," Cindy Gilberg, the mother who was struck, said.

Then a flash.

"It was the brightest light I've ever seen in my life," she said.

And then terrible pain.

"It was kind of like if you grabbed an electric cord and you couldn't let go, that shocking just kept going and going and I felt it ripping through my chest," she continued.

Rachael Gilberg, her mother, and her aunt, were sitting by the window in their living room beading. Rachael had come over to show her mother a picture. Their arms were touching as she leaned next to her mother.

"We were close before, but we're a little bit closer now," Cindy said.

Fire Officials told them that the lightning hit a tree outside the window; it traveled through a tree branch and then hit a nail on their roof, traveling into the living room and striking Rachael and Cindy. They say that initial pain lasted just a few minutes, but the emotional effects are still there.

"This is supposed to be my safe haven, this is supposed to be where I come to be safe, and I don't feel safe in my home anymore," Cindy said through tears.

The moment it hit they were thrown to the ground. The lightning had traveled through both of them.

"We're still alive," Rachael said, but she doesn't think she should be.

It happened fast and quickly got worse.

"We could see smoke," Cindy said.

She looked outside and smoke was forming above the window. They got up to save their home.

"As soon as you think you're okay, then the house catches on fire, and you have to go out there and battle that," Rachael said.

The fire was mild, contained to the roof. With just a small lighting shaped mark to show, even for them, it's hard to believe.

Cindy and Rachael were checked out by paramedics after the incident, and though their heart rates were high and they suffered severe headaches in the following days, they are expected to suffer no other symptoms.

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