Flashing a smile: Chris Hands is on the road to recovery after being struck by lightning. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
Flashing a smile: Chris Hands is on the road to recovery after being struck by lightning. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead

A lifeguard who was struck by lightning has described how he came within a whisker of death.

Chris Hands was knocked unconscious when a thunderbolt struck his workplace at Grotto Bay on Sunday.

And then his heart stopped beating at the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre in St David’s, before doctors brought him back to life.

Speaking exclusively to the Bermuda Sun from his hospital bed the 24-year-old told of his miracle recovery.

He said: “I was inside the watersports office just doing some work on the computer and chatting to a work colleague when there was this huge bang above the building.

“My colleague saw this flash of light coming through the door and sparks flew as it moved towards the fridge.

“It just knocked me straight out and I came around a few minutes later with a crowd of people standing over me.

“My body just felt numb and I could not see anything to start off with.

“I slowly got up but still didn’t feel right.

“I felt like my body was still buzzing.”

The boss of Triangle Diving Graham Maddocks took Mr Hands to the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre in St David’s.

Mr Hands said: “I was for all the journey talking to Graham, but I still felt pretty tingly.

‘Warm sensation’

“Down the right side of my body where the lightning had entered in from I had a very warm sensation and my legs just did not feel right.

“I walked up to the front desk and they told me that I should really be at hospital, but they laid me down on a bed and then I just blacked out again.”

Mr Hand’s heart then stopped beating and he flat-lined for several seconds before doctors brought him back to life by shocking his heart with hard compressions.

He said: “When I woke up again I was hot and sweaty.

“The doctors told me I had flat-lined but I really had no idea what had happened.”

Mr Hands was rushed to hospital via ambulance and after an initial assessment in emergency was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit.

He spent the whole of Sunday night in the ICU having blood tests every two hours so medics could check his condition.

Last night Mr Hands was being treated on a general ward and hoping to be allowed home today.

He told the Bermuda Sun: “When I first came into emergency they put paddles on my chest and back so that they could monitor my heart and make sure they could shock start it if it stopped again.

“I didn’t sleep at all that first night in ICU. 

“They kept on doing tests on me at regular intervals and I felt pretty awful too.

“A lot of the nurses have said I am lucky to be alive after what happened.

“I don’t think anyone has seen this kind of thing before so it has been pretty scary for me too.

“I’m just pleased that I’m feeling better now and looking forward to getting back home.”