MIAMI (WSVN) - A man has been discharged from the hospital on Thursday after recovering from a lighting strike for over three months.
“It definitely makes you respect Mother Nature and sort of have an appreciation for being alive,” 28-year-old Nick Williams said at a media conference.
Williams is nursing the injuries he received after getting struck by lightning on Aug. 4 and has been working hard at Jackson Memorial Hospital to get his life back. He said he’s grateful to be heading home.
Williams remembers some details from that summer afternoon as he sat under a tree watching a storm he thought was far enough away.
“I thought, ‘Eh, I’ve been outside in more dangerous conditions,'” Williams said, “and then I woke up in the hospital.”
Williams was struck by lightning and his wheelchair caught fire as his neighbors called 911.
“It was 750,000 to one for someone in a wheelchair to be struck by lightning,” Williams’s fiancee said.
Williams had a heart attack on the way to the hospital, and four minutes passed before paramedics were able to revive him. Eventually, he ended up at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
His doctors were stunned by his progress.
“At the time I saw him, he was unresponsive, on a ventilator breathing machine with some neurological signs and symptoms that would suggest that he wouldn’t recover,” Chief of Trauma Dr. Nicholas Namias said. “He was as sick as the come.”
“He is, for me, a miracle,” Medical Director of Neuro-Rehabilitation Dr. Gemarayet Alvarez-Gonzalez said. “We go by the statement of ‘Miracles happen daily,’ and he is definitely one of them.”
Williams spent 95 days at Jackson Memorial Hospital for treatment and therapy, and this wasn’t his first near-death experience.
In May 2008, Williams was in a car crash that left him paralyzed from the chest down.
“It almost makes these circumstances easier to deal with, having some sort of ‘Already been there’ kind of thing, so it’s like a ‘Now what?’ kind of deal,” Williams said.
His faith and family helped him through the ordeal.
“Twice in our lifetimes we’ve listened to doctors say, ‘It does not look good,'” Williams’s mother Donna Pappas said.
“All odds were against him, but he’s obviously proved that twice now that that doesn’t matter,” Williams’s fiancee said.
Williams said he’s leaving the hospital with a new mindset.
“If you’re alive, you’re okay kind of deal,” Williams said. “So, as — car accident, getting struck by lightning now — as long as I’m alive, I can deal with whatever it is that’s coming my way.”
Williams said he’s looking forward to a hot meal, getting back on the tennis court and planning a wedding. He and his fiancee were planning to get married in December, but now they’re working on setting a new date.
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