The 24-year-old Ferrin Rice was on day two of a three-day camping trip with his 19-year-old sister Amber and black lab Jovie on the last weekend in July. They were fishing at Amethyst Lake when a storm rolled in and lightning filled the sky.
As Rice started packing his gear to get out of the area, he felt a surge in his spine and fell to the ground, paralyzed. [GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: See photos of Ferrin’s wounds in our gallery.]
Amber says she saw the lightning strike hit. When he fell, she started CPR and called for help. Other campers heard her screams and called 911.
“She said she saw a big glowing orange ball on my shoulder and then I dropped,” said Ferrin. “I had stopped breathing, I couldn’t breath. Had she not given me CPR I wouldn’t be here, I’d be dead up there.”
Paramedics arrived and airlifted Ferrin to the University of Utah Medical Center where he was treated for second- and third-degree burns. He says lightning hit his leg and exited through his feet and shoulder.
He suffered serious injury to his shoulder and underwent skin grafts.
On his feet are two black wounds where the lightning left his body.
GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: See photos of Ferrin’s wounds in our gallery.