This is what it’s like to be struck by lightning

Initially all that’s visible on the screen is white, a blur of hail hitting the windshield. Then a flash flickers across the screen, the only one that Rachel saw that day, the one that she believes felled her husband.

A crashing boom. A jolting, excruciating pain. “My whole body was just stopped – I couldn’t move any more,” Justin recalls. “The pain was… I can’t explain the pain except to say if you’ve ever put your finger in a light socket as a kid, multiply that feeling by a gazillion throughout your entire body.

“And I saw a white light surrounding my body – it was like I was in a bubble. Everything was slow motion. I felt like I was in a bubble for ever.”

A couple huddling under a nearby tree ran to Justin’s assistance. They later told him that he was still clutching the chair. His body was smoking.

When Justin came to, he was looking up at people staring down, his ears ringing. Then he realised that he was paralysed from the waist down. “Once I figured out that I couldn’t move my legs, I started freaking out.”