Fisherman Struck by Lightning Manages to Call 911: 'I'm Not Going to Die This Way'
James Church, 55, calmly called 911 for help after losing some fingers.
A Florida man calmly called 911 and asked for help after he was recently struck by lightning.
James Church was fishing on a jetty in Ponce Inlet on January 7 when he was hit with a bolt of lightning.
The 55-year-old may have lost some fingers in the strike but managed to dial for help moments later.
"I said, 'I'm not going to die this way,'" Church explained to WKMG upon his release, four surgeries later, from a hospital on Monday.
In the 911 call, Church told the operator his fingers were gone.
"You lost your fingers?" asked the dispatcher.
Church replied: "Yes, ma'am. I can barely dial. I'm OK."
When the dispatcher assured Church that rescuers were going to find him, he quipped with confidence, "They'll find me. I'm the only crazy person out here."
In a GoFundMe page she created to help offset her father's medical costs, Church's daughter, Jaclyn Thuman, said her father endured multiple surgeries including operations on his hand and intestines.
"His ring finger and pinky on his right hand had extensive damage. The exit from the lightning strike took off a lot of those fingers and the hand surgeon did what he could to clean them up," Thuman wrote.
Just a day or so later, Thuman's tone changes from one of worry to one of hope.
"He is doing so well and the doctors are so impressed that he is already being moved out of the ICU to a burn unit," Thuman wrote.
In photos posted by Thuman, her father seems to bounce back from his ordeal after just over a week.
"What a turn around in a week. Still needs to rest and heal, and will require constant reminders of that, but on his way to recovery. Thank you all!!" she wrote.
As of Tuesday morning, Church's fund had raised just under $14,000 to go toward his medical costs. You can contribute to the fund by clicking here.
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