Jodie Green, 36, from Bridgend got the shock of her life...
The rain was hammering down as I gazed out of the kitchen window.
‘I need to get the washing in!’ I grumbled to myself.
It was 20 September this year, and a fierce storm was raging outside the home I share with my parents Noel, 72, and Pat, 68.
It’d been hot and sunny in the morning when I’d hung my washing out on the line to dry, but, by the afternoon, rain clouds had gathered and burst. Now everything was drenched.
‘I’m going to wait until the rain eases off,’ I said to Mum as the thunder roared. ‘No point in rushing out there now.’
Soon, the awful weather seemed to calm down, so, thinking the worst was over, I decided to seize my chance.
I quickly slipped on my flip-flops and made a run for the washing line. Little did I know I was in for the shock of my life…
The moment I laid my right hand on the metal pole, I heard a massive crackling noise coming from above my head.
Less than a second later, I felt a sharp, shooting pain down the right side of my body, and then I couldn’t see a thing – just white everywhere. My body was tingling all over, too.
After a while, my vision started to normalise.
Freaked out, I screamed, dropped the few bits of washing I’d collected, and hobbled back into the house as fast as I could.
I was as white as a sheet, my hair standing on end, and I just couldn’t stop trembling. What on earth had just happened? I also felt really dizzy, almost as if I was drunk.
Once I was inside the house, I collapsed to the floor.
My sister Kelly, 40, came running down the stairs, calling my name, and found me on the kitchen floor, unaware of where I was.
‘You’ve just been struck by lightning!’ she yelled, kneeling beside me as I lay there shivering.
Kelly had been looking out of the bathroom window at the exact moment I’d run outside, and had seen the fork of electricity over my head as the bolt hit.
Dad came home just as Mum was ringing for help. They were told to get me straight to hospital, so Dad helped me into his car and drove me to the Princess of Wales Hospital, in Bridgend.
It was only while we were in the car that reality kicked in, and I began to understand what had happened to me.
How am I alive? I thought to myself, quite literally shocked, and with pain searing through my right arm, shoulder and leg.
When we arrived at the hospital, I was taken straight through for tests.
My dad was by my side every step of the way.
‘Everything’s going to be OK,’ he said, trying to soothe me.
The doctors ran blood tests and heart scans, and, luckily, all the results came back normal.
‘I was struck by lightning two years ago, as well,’ one of the doctors told me.
Being treated by someone who knew exactly what I was going through gave me that extra bit of comfort.
After four hours, the doctor was satisfied that the lightning bolt had caused no serious, lasting damage to my body.
‘It was probably the rubber flip-flops that saved you,’ he explained. ‘They must’ve stopped the electricity reaching the ground.’
I couldn’t quite believe it.
‘They were only £5!’ I laughed.
Though Dad had kept them informed, Kelly and Mum were desperate to see me when we arrived home that evening.
‘It could only happen to you!’ joked Mum.
The doctor advised me to take some time off from my warehouse job to allow my body to properly rest and recover from the ordeal.
I still get pain all the way down my right side, but otherwise I’m completely fine.
If it wasn’t for my bargain flip-flops, I might not have made it. Now that’s shocking!