Man survives lightning strike after wife, passerbys offer prayers

Eric and Gwen Mckechnie. (Photo supplied to Netwerk24)

A miracle happened along a road in the foothills of the Drakensberg, near Bergville, on Monday (February 29, 2016) when an Alberton man who went down after being directly struck by lightning “came back by the grace of God.”

Gwen McKechnie, who was on a 24th wedding anniversary getaway with her husband, Eric, 57, told the Alberton Record that Eric was standing outside the car photographing amazing clouds and she was busy on her cellphone, when she suddenly heard an overpowering bang. When she looked up she could not see him.

Gwen did the only thing she knew how to do: “I got down on my knees and I started praying, just asking the Lord for guidance and help”, reports Christian Today.

She told the Alberton Record that she immediately got out of the vehicle to search for her husband and found him lying next to the vehicle, showing no signs of life. “Eric had an extensive burn wound to his left shoulder and around his neck. The top part of his shirt was completely torn to pieces and scattered around him.”

CPR, prayers and singing
She phoned their resort and asked the staff to call an ambulance and then started CPR on her husband, who was not breathing and had no pulse. A taxi stopped and a woman got out and explained that she is a nurse and offered to help. They performed CPR together. People from the taxi started to gather around them and began to sing and pray.

Shortly before paramedics from ER24 arrived on the scene, the man regained a pulse and spontaneous breathing.

ER24 paramedics treated the man for his burn wounds and rushed him off to a hospital in Ladysmith for further care.

Gwen said that she can just praise the Lord during this time for sending so many wonderful people across her road.

“We live in a broken country with many wonderful people filled with the love of our gracious Father in heaven.”

Divine intervention
Eric, who was admitted to a high care unit at the Netcare Sunninghill Hospital has now recovered. The couple believe that what happened was truly a miracle—that God directly intervened to save Eric after hearing the prayers said by Gwen and the people who came to their rescue, reports Christian Today.

When a bolt of lightning strikes a person, “very bad things happen,” according to Gizmodo. “In addition to the 300kV of energy coursing through you, the power of the strike heats the surrounding air to 50,000 degrees F, causing third degree burns at the bolt’s entry and exit points. It can also create lightning bolt-shaped burn marks, called Lichtenberg figures, which are caused by bursting blood vessels. The heat and force can singe and shred clothing. Lightning strikes have blown people clear out of their shoes,” the news outlet says.

More than burns, a lightning strike also acts as a “massive fibrillator, upsetting the heart’s electrical rhythm and causing cardiac arrest,” aside from “bursting blood vessels and damaging the cardiac muscles,” it says.


  1. Amen praise is his name forever! Sounds impossible but I believe it’s possible God do wonders? Amen

  2. Mike Guest (B.Th.)

    The prayer of a righteous person avails much! And the Taxi – wonderful how God sent the right people at the right time. I would say that racism is only in the mouths of politicians; the rest of us just get on with life and accept each other as fellow believers. God bless the passengers who stopped to pray for a total stranger!

  3. Allan Verreynne

    Miraculous recovery indeed! Wow! Thank You Lord!!

  4. Praise God For your wife and wonderful people that came to help. God is good and has spared your life to use you for His glory.God bless you abundantly, Dave,

  5. Nothing is impossible with God.His grace is sufficient and He’s always there for all who believe in Him.Glory be to God.