Local teen survives lightning strike

With a day off school last Friday, Nellie Strait-Ramirez decided to sleep in.

Little did she know the next to impossible would happen – the 14-year-old was jolted out of bed when lightning struck her home.

The Marshalltown High School freshman suffered burns on her legs when the lightning strike occurred at about 8 a.m. at her South Street home.

It’s unclear if the burns are a result of electrically-charged material from the ceiling falling on her or what exactly happened.

The lightning knocked a hole in the roof and blew out a portion of the ceiling above her.

“I was sleeping and I heard this loud noise and I felt stuff falling one me,” Strait-Ramirez said. “I was in such a state of shock that I didn’t feel (the burns) at first.”

Eventually, she felt a pinching in her legs that were a result of the burns from the lightning strike.

Her dad, Roberto Ramirez, was at home when the lightning struck.

“That was the loudest thing that I’ve ever heard,” he said.

The teen continues to wear wraps around both of her burns – one on her left knee and one on her right thigh. She went for tests at the University of Iowa Hospitals Monday. Medical personnel are still baffled how someone indoors during a storm could be affected like this.

Her mom, Belinda Strait, was working when the incident occurred and rushed home. She was grateful it wasn’t as serious as she first feared and doesn’t seem too worried about the damage to their home.

“We can replace our house, but we can’t replace our child,” Strait said.

Nellie said her legs are still painful to the touch and when she walks they still hurt a little. She’ll have follow up visits with doctors and the family is hopeful that everything will be fine with her health.

Nellie is still a bit “jumpy” days after the incident and is also happy it wasn’t more serious.

“I’m grateful that nothing worse happened,” she said.