The list is lengthy and daunting: cardiac arrest, confusion, seizures, dizziness, muscle aches, deafness, headaches, memory deficits, distractibility, personality changes and chronic pain, among others. Many survivors have a story that they want to share. The group has convened in the mountains of the south-eastern US every spring since its first meeting was held by 13 survivors in the early s. For nearly 30 years, he and his wife have run the organisation — which now has nearly 2, members — from their North Carolina home.
The changes in personality and mood that survivors experience, sometimes with severe bouts of depression as well, can strain families and marriages, sometimes to breaking point. Cooper likes to use the analogy that lightning rewires the brain in much the same way that an electrical shock can scramble a computer — the exterior appears unharmed, but the software within that controls its functioning is damaged. He is drained afterwards, unable to do much for the next few days.
Cooper, who has attended some of these gatherings, has learned to hang back as survivors and their loved ones describe their symptoms. And I listen and I listen and I listen. Some people maintain that they can detect a storm brewing long before it appears on the horizon. Also, are lightning survivors more vulnerable to other health problems, such as heart conditions, later in life?
Some survivors report feeling like medical nomads, as they struggle to find a doctor with even a passing familiarity with lightning-related injuries. Justin, who could move his legs within five hours of being struck, finally sought out help and related testing last year at the Mayo Clinic for his cognitive frustrations. Talking on the phone one day, sounding quite articulate, he tries to convey the struggles lurking just beneath.
So when it comes out, it may not sound all right.
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When someone is hit by lightning, it happens so fast that only a very tiny amount of electricity ricochets through the body. By way of comparison, coming into contact with high-voltage electricity, such as a downed wire, has the potential to cause more internal injuries, since the exposure can be more prolonged. So what causes external burns? Sometimes the shoes too. His sister, Sara, now wishes that they had kept the phone but they tossed it, fearful that it carried some residual lightning current — a bit paranoid, she now realises.
Loss of consciousness was common. About one-third experienced at least some temporary paralysis in their arms or legs. Those rates might be on the high side — Cooper points out that not all lightning patients are sufficiently injured that doctors write about their cases.
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But survivors do often describe temporary paralysis, like Justin suffered, or a loss of consciousness, although why it occurs is not clear. Thankfully, though, the heart possesses a natural pacemaker. Frequently, it can reset itself. The problem is that lightning can also knock out the region of the brain that controls breathing. The risk then is that the heart will succumb to a second and potentially deadly arrest, Andrews says. Andrews is well suited to conducting lightning studies, having trained both as an electrical engineer and as a physician.
He showed that as lightning flashes over, the electrical current enters critical portals into the body: the eyes, the ears, the mouth.
This helps explain why damage to the eyes and ears is frequently reported by survivors. They might develop cataracts. Or their hearing can be permanently damaged, even after the initial post-boom ringing stops. Particularly worrisome is that, by penetrating the ears, lightning can rapidly reach the brain region that controls breathing, Andrews says. Upon entering the body, the electricity can hitch a ride elsewhere, through the blood or the fluid surrounding the brain and the spinal cord.
Once it reaches the bloodstream, Andrews says, the passage to the heart is very quick.
In Arizona, Jaime Santana survived the immediate lightning strike. One possibility, the trauma surgeon Sydney Vail and others speculate, is that the 1,pound steed absorbed a good portion of the lightning that nearly killed his year-old rider. Another reason Jaime survived is that, when he was struck, the neighbour who came running — someone who the family had never met before — immediately started CPR, and continued until the paramedics arrived.
The neighbour insisted that they continue. Before Jaime, no one had survived. As it descends toward the ground, the electricity is searching, searching, searching for something to connect with. It steps, almost stair-like, in a rapid-fire series of roughly metre increments. Prime candidates include isolated and pointed objects: trees, utility poles, buildings and occasionally people.
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The entire cloud-to-ground sequence happens blindingly fast. The popular perception is that the chance of being struck by lightning is one in a million. But Holle, who believes that statistic is misleading, set out to crunch some other numbers. If someone lives until 80, their lifetime vulnerability increases to 1 in 13, Then consider that every victim knows at least ten people well, such as the friends and family of Jaime and Justin.
In fact, direct strikes are surprisingly rare. Still, Vail, the trauma surgeon, surmises that Jaime was directly hit, given that he was riding in the desert with no trees or other tall objects nearby. Considered the second most common lightning hazard, side splashes inflict 20 to 30 per cent of injuries and fatalities.
They are more likely to be on the younger side, in their 20s or 30s, and doing something outside, frequently on the water or nearby. But what should you do if you find yourself stranded a long way from a building or car when a storm kicks up? Some guidance is available: avoid mountain peaks, tall trees or any body of water.
Look for a ravine or a depression. Spread out your group, with at least 20 feet between each person, to reduce the risk of multiple injuries. Deaths and injuries that have occurred in tents, or during sports competitions, or to individuals huddled beneath a golf shelter or a picnic shelter or some other type of shelter. Satellite data has shown that certain regions of the world, generally those near the equator, are lightning-dense. Venezuela, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Pakistan all rank among the top ten lightning hotspots.
If thunder rumbled before they reached 30, lightning was close enough to pose a threat. Housing construction has improved. Jobs have moved indoors. In the US alone, annual fatalities have fallen from more than in the early s to fewer than 50 in recent years. Arizona, for example, ranks high in the US when looking at lightning deaths per state population.
Still, people in high-income countries have it easy, compared to those in regions where people have no choice but to work outside in all conditions and lightning-safe buildings are scarce. In one analysis of agricultural-related lightning deaths outside of the US, Holle learned that more than half of them occurred in India, followed by Bangladesh and the Philippines. The victims were young early 20s for the men, early 30s for the women and were working in farms and paddy fields.
Cooper was hit full-force with the emotional impact of what lightning can do in Africa when she attended a lightning conference in Nepal. The presenters were arranged in alphabetical order by country, so Cooper, by then retired as an emergency physician but still doing lightning-related work, was sat between the presenters from Uganda and Zambia.
Richard Tushemereirwe, the Ugandan representative, kept fussing with his slides while waiting to present. Another classical interpretation of the phenomenon of "hunger at first sight" is found in Plato 's Symposium in Aristophanes ' description of the separation of primitive double-creatures into modern men and women and their subsequent search for their missing half: " In particular, a glimpse of the woman's eyes was said to be the source of the love dart:.
This doctrine of the immediate visual perception of one's lady as a prerequisite to the birth of love originated among the "beaux esprits" de Provence. The love thus generated is conveyed on bright beams of light from her eyes to his, through which it passes to take up its abode in his heart. In some medieval texts, the gaze of a beautiful woman is compared to the sight of a basilisk. Giovanni Boccaccio provides one of the most memorable examples in his Il Filostrato , where he mixes the tradition of love at first sight, the eye's darts, and the metaphor of Cupid's arrow:  "Nor did he Troilus who was so wise shortly before William Shakespeare pays a handsome posthumous tribute to Christopher Marlowe , who himself wrote "Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?
These images of the lover's eyes, the arrows, and the ravages of "love at first sight" continued to be circulated and elaborated upon in the Renaissance and Baroque literature, and play an important role in Western fiction and especially the novel , according to Jean Rousset. Research has shown two bases for love at first sight. The first is that the attractiveness of a person can be very quickly determined, with the average time in one study being 0. The second is that the first few minutes, but not the first moment, of a relationship have shown to be predictive of the relationship's future success, more so than what two people have in common or whether they like each other " like attracts like ".
Infatuation , not to be confused with love at first sight, is the state of being carried away by an unreasoned passion or assumed love. Hillman and Phillips describe it as a desire to express the libidinal attraction of addictive love,  inspired with an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone. Opera plots must be condensed to fit their rendition in music and are thus highly suited to plot lines in which the principals fall in love at first sight. Often, this moment inspires composers to unusually fine music.
Abundant examples include:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Love at First Sight disambiguation. Types of love. Cultural views. Related subjects.
Biological basis Love letter Valentine's Day Philosophy Religious views Falling in love Mere-exposure effect similarity physical attractiveness triangular theory of love. Main article: Eros love. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. The Psychologist. Winkler trans.