Grandmother struck by lightning in Eastham

EASTHAM, Mass. (WHDH) — On Tuesday morning, a woman was gripping an umbrella as she exited a car to shield her from the heavy downpour. Just as she picked up her 4-year-old granddaughter, lightning struck, hitting them both.

“It’s almost like a pain in your arm, and then my arm just started shaking” said Beth Caldwell.

Caldwell said she was struck by lightning when she was holding her granddaughter, Sophia, in one arm and an umbrella in the other.

“So I got the one over there and put her in my arms and the umbrella and then I got hit through my right arm,” said Caldwell.

“Like a shotgun, it was a big loud bang, and all the sudden out of my periphery I saw the spark,” said Chris Samios, the woman’s son-in-law, who witnessed the strike.

Caldwell and Sophia were then rushed to Cape Cod Hospital.

“I wasn’t really aware of anything but getting the baby away from me ‘cause I knew I was hit. So when I fell in, I said to them, ‘I’m hit, I’ve been hit by lightning,’” Caldwell said.

“The way she described it was that it was an intense pain, more than a shock in her hand and then all the sudden she felt her arm go limp down her side and she felt something shoot down through her body and her heart would not stop racing,” said Chris Samios.

The 4-year-old was fine, but was checked out for precautionary purposes.

“I freaked out. We were all like in shock. We were shocked,” said the woman’s daughter, Maggie Samios.

Neighbors in the area gave the same description of what they saw and heard.

“The flash was instantaneous. It was completely bright. Then the thunder, the clap was enormous,” said Todd Easton.

A heating and air conditioning repairman said the lightning also knocked out all the power in the Samios' vacation home.

“It was definitely hit by lightning. It got hit pretty hard. Everything electrical in it was fried,” said Richard Toma.

“I feel so lucky, it’s unbelievable,” said Chris Samios. “She was hit by lightning and is fine.”

After the ordeal, Caldwell smiled and even joked about her clash with Mother Nature.

“You can have after effects up to three years but I’m supposed to check with my regular doctor. But I’m fine. They said that I look better because of it,” Caldwell joked.