After lightning strike, she's glad to be alive

Don Conkey

Linda Nixon saw the lightning flash overhead. Then she saw her life flash in front of her. “I was scared to death. I’m very glad I am alive,” said Nixon, who received a powerful jolt at her Hingham home as the result of a lightning strike.

“It was such an intense feeling to go through. I am lucky that it was not a direct hit,” she said.

It was at about 4 p.m. Sunday when a calm, enjoyable day suddenly went topsy-turvy.

Nixon and her husband, John, had just returned from a day at Hingham Harbor and were in the outside shower at their home on Derby Street, “rinsing off from a day at the beach,” she said.

“It’s an enclosed shower, but you can see above. I saw a lightning bolt and heard thunder and got nervous,” she said.

The couple realized that they had to get out of there quickly, and Linda reached to turn off the water.

“They’re metal faucets,” she said. “I got jolted. It started in my fingertips, went into my hands and came up both my arms. I was like if you put a finger in a socket. It tingled.

“It threw me back. It knocked me right over, on my butt. It was scary.”

Nixon said she could feel her heart racing and didn’t know if it was simply from being scared or from having been physically affected by the jolt.

John, a Brookline firefighter, knew what to look for.

“She was pretty scared, but she was alert and conscious,” he said. “I was making sure that she was OK, no burns. I was looking for exit wounds. There was no exit wound, so I knew it was not a direct hit.”

He helped his wife get inside the house, and when he picked up a phone to call for help, he found that the phones had been knocked out by the storm.

“Thank God for cell phones,” he said.

He dialed 911 and an ambulance arrived a short time later. His wife was taken to South Shore Hospital.

She knows her way around that hospital. She works there as a phlebotomist.

“I took me about an hour to calm down, but I knew I was in good hands,” she said. “I was all right. There was no abnormal heart rate at all. Everyone assured me that I was going to be OK.”

On Monday, the Nixons still weren’t sure where the lightning bolt hit. They were guessing that it might have been in their family room, because when they tried to turn on a ceiling fan in the room, it began to spark.

Linda said she felt fine, other than having a headache.

The emotional after-effects, understandably, might linger.

When they got home from the hospital Sunday night, they sat and talked for a while, John said.

“We do that pretty regularly, talk to each other, but this was a little closer moment,” he said. “You think about what might have happened, and you count your blessings.”

Don Conkey may be reached at