‘He led me back home’
Mayor Thomas with his medical diagnosis of “lightning strike”
The mayor of Redruth, in Cornwall, England, says he owes his life to his dog, Monty.
Ian Thomas was doing the rounds of his farm, feeding his chickens, goats and donkey when he was thrown to the ground.
Stunned and in great pain, he grabbed onto Monty, his large black schnauzer, and the dog helped him struggle back to the house.
His wife Sharen rushed him to hospital, fearing he had suffered a stroke or a heart attack.
After an MRI, an ECG and other tests, he was diagnosed as having been struck by lightning.
“I was walking along carrying a metal bowl when I had what seemed like an explosion in my head and at the same moment I heard the dog scream,” Thomas said. “I saw my legs thrown into the air in front of me and I was thrown into the air.
It didn’t make any sense.
“Sometime later I came to my senses and found myself curled up in a ball on the ground. I knew I wasn’t dead because the pain was so bad.”
Thomas explained that he often hangs on to Monty when walking up steep hills. So when he said, “Help me, help me,” the dog knew what to do.
“I grabbed hold of him and stumbled home,” he said.
Sharen Thomas, who is trained in first aid, said she thought he’d had a heart attack when she rushed him to the hospital.
The doctors there said that if he hadn’t been wearing rubber fireman’s boots, he almost certainly wouldn’t have survived.
The mayor is recovering from his ordeal but has marks on his head and his hip, from where the lightning entered and exited. He’s still taking morphine for the pain.
Monty the dog is doing fine and enjoying his new status as a lifesaver.