In 2018, Brittney Prehn’s life changed forever. While driving to a Country Thunder Festival campsite in Wisconsin, lightning struck the cell phone she was talking on. Entering the right side of her head and going through her head, the lightning nearly killed her.
Prehn survived the strike and has been sharing his recovery journey online since then. On March 7, she posted an update video which has now received over 9 million views.
It was captioned: “I just have to remember how far I’ve come since 2018! It hasn’t been easy but I’m truly blessed.”
In the video, Prehn shared clips from the site where she was struck, photos of the burnt clothes she was wearing, and footage of her recovery, from being in a hospital bed to resuming measurements with her Great Dane. Dozer by his side.
Lightning occurs naturally when warm air is mixed with cooler air masses, resulting in an atmospheric disturbance that causes an instantaneous release of energy.
With around 50 occurrences per second and 20% resulting in ground strikes, it’s impossible to know how many of those strikes result in death or injury. A recent paper produced by OSF St Francis Med Center EM Residency, University of Louisville, and University of Illinois-Peoria estimated about 24,000 deaths and ten times as many injuries per year due to lightning.
The research said: “Although likely underestimated, in the United States there are approximately 400 lightning injuries and 40 fatalities per year. Most deaths occur within an hour of injury and are due to fatal arrhythmia or respiratory failure.”
Prehn has baffled medical experts with her miraculous recovery and continues to share her story and recovery journey online.
In a 2019 interview with Fox 6 Milwaukee, Prehn said, “I’m determined to find out why I’m here, and I’m not going to take that for granted.”
“What an inspiring story,” said a commenter on TikTok. Another viewer wrote, “You are a true warrior! God bless you and your family.”
“You survived a thunderbolt,” said one comment: “You are amazing!”
Another commenter shared their connection to the incident and wrote, “Country Thunder? I’m a 911 operator and I was working that night. saying she had made an “incredible recovery”.
Newsweek has contacted Brittney Prehn for comment.