Arizona teen living life to the fullest after surviving lightning strike

“Live as much as you can because you don’t know when you’re going to die"

Arizona teen living life to the fullest after surviving lightning strike

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Josiah Wiedman is a walking miracle.

Last Monsoon, he was struck by lightning and survived.

Fourteen people have died from lightning strikes in Arizona since 2008, according to the National Weather Service, and Wiedman came close to being number 15.

He doesn’t remember much, but what the 14-year-old does remember is walking home with his friend as the storm rolled through the park, his skateboard in hand.

The field where Josiah Wiedman was struck by lightning (Source: KOLD News13)
The field where Josiah Wiedman was struck by lightning (Source: KOLD News13)

A bolt as thick as a pencil struck Wiedman, knocking him and his friend off their feet.

This life-changing moment was even captured by a surveillance camera across the street.

He was struck so hard, his heart stopped.

"Everything went dark, " Wiedman said.

A neighbor rushed into action, performing CPR, which was the only thing keeping him alive.

The days following, he spent five days in the hospital and 72 hours in a coma. His family and friends were left unsure what life held for him now.

"Sheer horror fell to the bottom of my stomach and I was in complete shock, " his mother, Krista Wiedman said.

Mother of lightning strike survivor (Source: KOLD News 13)
Mother of lightning strike survivor (Source: KOLD News 13)

Prayers were offered up urgently, especially by his mother, pleading that he wouldn’t have any permanent damage.

"I’ve always known people care about me, now I know how many people care about me, " said Wiedman.

His recovery was as miraculous as his survival. Doctors say they had never seen a lightning victim recover so fast. Most lightning survivors suffer from lasting effects, but Wiedman recovered free from any permanent damage.

Lightning strike survivor- Josiah Wiedman (Source: KOLD News 13)
Lightning strike survivor- Josiah Wiedman (Source: KOLD News 13)

"I have a small scar on my leg, but that’s about it, "said Wiedman.

His mother was completely confident her prayers were heard.

Krista said, "My child, who is alive and well and healthy and unburned and functioning. That’s a miracle. "

When asked, Wiedman labelled his experience as a miracle too.

“I wasn’t supposed to live,” said Wiedman. “Doctors said I wasn’t supposed to live.”

Josiah Wiedman experienced a full recovery after being struck by lightning (Source: KOLD News 13)
Josiah Wiedman experienced a full recovery after being struck by lightning (Source: KOLD News 13) (Source: KOLD News 13 Staff)

Another blessing in disguise is that his skateboard, which took the brunt of the lightning strike, still remains intact. With enhanced meaning, he doesn’t plan on parting with it anytime soon.

“If it comes to it and I have to use the wheels, the wheels are coming off and I’m keeping the dock,” said Wiedman.

Josiah Wiedman's skateboard that took the brunt of the lightning strike (Source: KOLD News 13)
Josiah Wiedman's skateboard that took the brunt of the lightning strike (Source: KOLD News 13)

Just across the street from his El Mirage home, he still walks through the park where the lightning strike rattled his life.

With another Monsoon around the corner, Wiedman says he’s not going to let his experience stop him from enjoying life.

“Live as much as you can because you don’t know when you’re going to die,” said Wiedman.

The Wiedman family (Source: KOLD News 13)
The Wiedman family (Source: KOLD News 13) (Source: KOLD News 13)

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