A doctor in Wyoming who drove through a storm to pick his son up at the airport didn’t realize he had been struck by lightning until two days later, when he finally went to the hospital for growing pain in his face and chest.
“I saw a big flash of light,” Paul Beaupre, who was walking in search of his car at the airport terminal, told the Jackson Hole News & Guide. “The next thing I knew I woke up face-planted on the asphalt.”
But because nobody came to help, Beaupre figured his injuries weren’t severe enough to warrant medical attention, and he got in his car and drove to the other airport. He then celebrated the Fourth of July with family and friends before heading to the hospital the next day, according to the news outlet.
He was determined to have a broken nose, jaw and three broken ribs, and when staff saw his creatine-kinase levels were high, they figured out that he had been struck by lightning.
Beaupre, who has since returned to treating patients of his own, said he had heard thunder and seen lightning, but nothing striking close by before he was hit.
Lightning is a major cause of storm-related deaths in the U.S., as it can result in cardiac arrest, according to the National Weather Service. Over the last 10 years the U.S. has seen an average of 27 reported lightning fatalities each year, but only about 10 percent of people who are struck are killed.